Tennis News: Naomi Osaka, Novak Djokovic and Nina Stojanovic

  • Osaka seems certain of next event
  • Stojanovic discusses Olympic situation with Djokovic
Naomi Osaka in action
Naomi Osaka in action / Robert Prange/GettyImages

Naomi Osaka is all the way back. Sort of. The former WTA No. 1 missed a lot of time due to injuries and childbirth over the last several years. She stated she wanted to return to tennis but not play just to participate; she wanted to win. This meant playing enough events that she got back in tennis shape.

She didn't mislead tennis fans either. In 2024, she has so far played in 12 tournaments. That is her most since 2018. But one tournament she will not be playing is the Eastbourne International. This is a grass-court lead-in to Wimbledon which begins on Monday, July 1. Osaka has never been overly successful at Wimbledon, so maybe she doesn't think she needs all that much practice on grass.

That said, she has played four matches on the surface so far this year which is probably enough to be ready for the upcoming Grand Slam. Osaka withdrew from Eastbourne but not because of injury. According to various reports, she pulled out of the event because of a "change of schedule."

Naomi Osaka ready for Wimbledon and Nina Stojanovic discusses Novak Djokovic situation

We can probably interpret that as meaning she just wanted to focus on Wimbledon. She will get a few days more rest and practice on grass before attempting to make it past the third round for the first time at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.

In completely different news, back in 2021 and clearly before the earth had finished cooling, Tokyo was hosting the Summer Olympics. As part of the tennis action, Novak Djokovic was participating in both singles and mixed doubles. His partner in doubles was Nina Stojanovic. Djokovic withdrew prior to the bronze medal match due to fatigue from reaching the bronze medal match in singles.

Next. Wimbledon 2024: Everything you need to know. Wimbledon 2024: Everything you need to know. dark

On a recent episode of the Reketiranje podcast, Stojanovic spoke about how she received a lot of criticism from fans for causing Djokovic to be too tired to do better in singles. This is fairly ridiculous, of course, because Djokovic would not have played in mixed doubles at all if he had only focused on singles. Plus, Stojanovic wasn't forcing anyone to play; she was only a doubles partner.

Stojanovic said, "I didn't talk to Novak Djokovic after (he withdrew), I didn't have an opportunity...I think that conversation will happen (eventually)...We have heard from each other after that, but we never talked about (the Olympics) specifically...He continues to keep up with what's happening to me and that, it's very nice of him, but there are simply things that I don't forget. I don't want to say anything ugly, but it's not a nice feeling when you read later the ugly statements saying it was because of me that (he) was tired for the singles."

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