World No. 3 Naomi Osaka revealed that she had a near-death experience recently. She said that it has given her a new perspective going into 2020. Now, the tennis ace has hired a new coach (Wim Fissette) to help her in the 2020 season. According to the tennis star, she almost died in the Turks and Caicos Islands after being involved in a paddling accident.
Why do I make such weird faces while I’m playing??? WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY 😩😩😩 pic.twitter.com/GMwSWPf8za— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) January 4, 2020
Naomi Osaka, who started 2019 at No. 1, ended the season at No. 3. She withdrew from the WTA finals due to a shoulder injury. While recovering from the wound, Naomi Osaka went on a vacation to the Caribbean. According to her, during the holiday, she went out paddleboarding at her sister Mari’s insistence. Naomi Osaka said that the entire experience was scary.
In her narration of the incident, the player recounted that there was a lot of crying, blame-gaming and even spotting of sharks. Naomi Osaka admitted that though it may seem like she is exaggerating, she was terrified for her life.
Naomi Osaka recounted that she got caught in a current and was swept up. She said that they were paddling near their house when the accident took place. She said that the house kept getting smaller, making her realise how far she was being sucked into the water current.
Naomi Osaka said that her sister tried to calm her and advised her to swim into calmer waters, but she was scared. Osaka confessed that she burst into tears and said Mari was to be blamed if she died in the water. Not a strong swimmer, Naomi Osaka somehow managed to get back on the paddleboard when her sister decided to have some fun with her and called out that she saw a shark. Osaka said she started screaming and crying at the thought of having to deal with sharks.
Looking back at the incident, Osaka now thinks it was hilarious. She said that the perspective she has gained about life would reflect in her game too. Naomi Osaka won the US Open in 2018 and the Australian Open in 2019. With the Australian Open set to take place on January 20, she is hoping for a repeat performance in 2020.