Homebody Osaka hopes the schedule adjustments will lead to more Grand Slams

Written by Frank Bing

(Reuters) – Naomi Osaka hates the long, crowded stretches away from the comforts of home and so will plan the European portion of her schedule accordingly in hopes of improving her title hopes at the French Open and Wimbledon.

Osaka, who competed this week at the Miami Open near where she grew up, said that while chasing success relentlessly, she was still trying to shape her playing schedule to give herself the best chance at success.

“I’m not really sure what the usual schedule is, but I never thought I’d be the kind of player who’d be playing week after week,” said Osaka. “Personally, I feel homesick a lot of the time and it makes me sad sometimes.”

The four-time Grand Slam champion won her second US Open title in September, followed by her second Australian Open victory in February.

Despite her success in those events, the 23-year-old Osaka never advanced to the third round at Roland Garros or All England Club.

“I love to travel somewhere and really focus on that tournament; for me, this is something I learned that works for me,” said Osaka.

“I hope it works out for me this time in Europe because my results weren’t that great, but I feel that every year I take a tour learning more about myself and the type of schedule I like to play.”

Osaka, seeded second in Miami, bids farewell to the second round of the two-week tournament as she has a chance to defeat world number one champion Ash Party.

(Prepared by Frank Bing in Toronto; Editing by Claire Fallon)

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