MELBOURNE (AUTRALIA) – Just two days after completing a 14 day quarantine in ahead of the Australian Open, Naomi Osaka said she would be willing to undergo two more weeks of quarantine to play at the Tokyo Olympics if it helped ensure the safety of the people of her home country.
The US Open champion said “The way that I feel is I will stay in my room for two weeks to play the Olympics.”
“I missed out on the last one. Playing in Tokyo would be very special to me. My concern would be the general safety of everyone else because you’re opening the country,” the 23-year-old told reporters on Sunday.
“Everyone is flying in from different places. I would just want the public to feel safe. I feel like the athletes definitely would want to play, but I would want the public to feel safe.”
Tokyo organisers are not currently considering wholesale quarantine for the 11,000 athletes taking part in the Games.
The U.S. Open was played without fans and Osaka said while she was delighted that there will be fans in attendance when the year’s first Grand Slam starts on Feb. 8, it did have a downside.
“I think I get distracted by the crowd sometimes because I want to show off a little bit, so I do some crazy shots,” she said.
“(But) I would say I definitely love having a crowd watching. I feel like you sort of interact with them. Sometimes they shout things and it makes you laugh.”