Naomi Osaka Opens Up About Her Parenting Fears, Learning to Give Herself Grace

The tennis pro welcomed her first baby girl in July.
Naomi Osaka

Naomi Osaka.

Tennis legend Naomi Osaka has imposter syndrome just like the rest of us. The athlete, who welcomed her first baby girl with rapper Cordae in July, recently revealed she has fallen victim to a lack of confidence as a new mom. 

The SI Swimsuit model, who was photographed by Yu Tsai in Malibu, Calif., for the cover of the 2021 issue, shared a candid post on the matter on X and Instagram.

“Something I had to conquer recently is fighting the thought that I won’t be a good mom. So many doubts raced through my head I had to swat them away like mosquitoes,” read two screenshots, one in English and one in Japanese. “Looking into Shai’s eyes and holding her I always think, ‘wow this little person depends on me so much, I have to do better.’ It’s such a strange feeling watching your kid grow, you blink and they’re double the size in a few months.”

The four-time Grand Slam singles winner, who is back practicing on the courts, added that as she turned 26 last week and celebrated another year of good health and great people surrounding her, she is grateful for the big things in life, but also the little wins.

“Where has the time gone? I look back on my life and it feels like I’m rewinding an old vhs tape, it flashes by so quickly and suddenly I’m here in the present. I often try to retrace my steps to figure out how did I end up here, I know I say this often but I truly still feel like that kid playing on public courts in queens, NY,” Osaka wrote. “Randomly I wonder if I’m doing okay, is there a correct path to take in life or have I veered off onto the scenic route for a little bit? However, I’ve now come into the mindset that I can only keep moving forward and everything that will be, will be.”

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Ananya Panchal


Ananya Panchal is a NYC-based Lifestyle & Trending News writer at SI Swimsuit. Before joining the Swim team, the Boston University Alum worked for culture & entertainment beats at Bustle, The San Francisco Chronicle and the TODAY Show. When Ananya is not writing or doom-scrolling on social media, she can be found playing sudoku, rewatching One Tree Hill or trying new restaurants. She's also a coffee and chocolate (separately) enthusiast.