"Please don’t say this is you contemplating retirement" - Naomi Osaka's cryptic message ahead of Caroline Garcia rematch at Qatar Open baffles fans

Naomi Osaka (L) and Carolina Garcia (R)
Naomi Osaka (L) and Carolina Garcia (R)

Naomi Osaka's cryptic post on social media has raised concerns among tennis fans regarding the possibility of her considering retirement.

Osaka has had a challenging time on tour since making a comeback after giving birth to her daughter Shai in July 2023. She made a return to professional tennis at the 2024 Brisbane International, kicking off her comeback with a 6-3, 7-6(9) victory over Tamara Korpatsch. However, she was stopped short by 16th seed Karolina Pliskova in the second round, who won 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-4.

The four-time Grand Slam champion encountered a tough draw at the Australian Open, taking on 16th seed Caroline Garcia in the first round. Garcia delivered an impressive performance, winning 6-4, 7-6(2) to oust Osaka from the Major. The former World No. 1's tournament opener at the Abu Dhabi Open proved similarly difficult, as Danielle Collins claimed a dominant 7-5, 6-0 win over her.

Naomi Osaka will be in action at the Qatar Open next, where she is set to face Garcia once again in the first round of the WTA 1000 event on Sunday, February 11. Ahead of the highly anticipated rematch, the Japanese star took to social media and posted a cryptic message, which piqued the curiosity of tennis fans.

"Hmmmmm," Naomi Osaka posted on X (formerly Twitter).

Several fans expressed their concerns about the former World No. 1's post being an indicator of her potentially contemplating retirement.

"She about to quit tennis," a fan commented.
"Plz don't say this is u contemplating retirement," another fan wrote.

Meanwhile, other fans speculated that it was a reaction to her challenging draw at the Qatar Open.

"She saw her Doha draw," a fan posted.
"She just as nervous about the draw as us," another fan chimed in.

Here are a few more reactions from fans:

Naomi Osaka: "Even if I play the No. 1 seed, I expect myself to win"

Naomi Osaka at the 2024 Australian Open
Naomi Osaka at the 2024 Australian Open

Despite encountering several challenging draws on her comeback to the tour, Naomi Osaka recently opened up about her high expectations for herself. She disclosed that she expected herself to emerge victorious even when facing the top seed at a tournament.

"I’m the type of person that, even if I play the No. 1 seed, I want myself to win and I kind of expect myself to win, which is the delusion part. But I try not to make too many excuses," Osaka said.

The four-time Grand Slam champion emphasized the importance of such self-belief for all successful players, embracing her "delusions" as a necessary factor in pursuing "crazy" accomplishments.

"I feel like in some capacity, everyone who has achieved something crazy has been called crazy along the way. For me, also just being a more creative person, you have to see things differently and you have to dream big to achieve those dreams. I kind of like my delusions, they’re cool," she added.

Should Naomi Osaka avenge her Australian Open defeat against Caroline Garcia, she will take on the winner of the match between Arantxa Rus and Petra Martic in the second round of the Qatar Open.

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Edited by Urvi Mehra
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