"I'm done being shy. It's really a waste of my time"
With two grand slam titles under her belt, 22-year-old athlete is already regarded as one of the world’s best tennis players.
However, Osaka has now revealed how she has been burdened by her shyness.
“For me, I have a lot of regrets before I go to sleep, and most of the regret is that I don’t speak out about what I’m thinking,” she said.
Now, Osaka is consciously making an effort to break out of her shell.
“I’m done being shy. It’s really a waste of my time,” she wrote. “I could’ve shared so many ideas by now, I could’ve had convos with so many different people. All the things I could’ve learned but no I’m over here actually putting my own limiter on myself.”
Looking at her past, Osaka recognises missed opportunities as a consequence of her being withdrawn.
“There’s a lot of times where I see myself in situations where I could have put my input in, but instead I’ve held my tongue and things kept moving in a way that I didn’t really enjoy,” she explained. “I feel like if I asserted myself I would have gotten the opportunity to see what would have happened.”
The tennis star recalled one incident in which she met her idols Jay-Z and Beyonce.
“[Jay-Z] started talking to me, but I got really nervous and started giving one word replies so he suddenly said, ‘Are you shy?’ and I said, ‘yeah,’ and the convo came to a screeching halt.”
“I would like to thank Jay-Z and Beyoncé for making music that motivates me, because there was a period in my life where I just watched Beyoncé performances to get motivated,” she now says.
Osaka even said she might not have had the courage to do the CNN interview a few years ago.
“Even right now, maybe a couple of years ago I would be very, very shy to do this interview and you would only get like two words out of me but now we’re getting full sentences!” She said.
Osaka now plans on building herself up even more.
“I feel like I want to take this time to learn something new or to improve because I’m pretty sure I won’t have this much free time ever again,” she says.
Last year, Japanese comedy duo A Masso (マッソ) have apologized for joking that Naomi Osaka “needed some bleach”.