“I really had a blast on court for the first time in a while,” Osaka told Self afterward. “I have a new perspective and I’m so appreciative that I have this career and platform. I’m also really energized and motivated.”
Reflecting on how far she’d come since going public with her struggles, she told People last April, “The biggest lesson I’ve learned is to try to be present in each moment. It’s easy to lose sight of how far you’ve come, but I’ve been prioritizing trying to live in the moment and enjoy the journey.”
And her spirits remained high as the year went on, the athlete tweeting July 30, “Just went through my old notes from last year…wow I’m basically a whole different person now,” and on Aug. 4, “I’m really at peace with myself. I didn’t think I would ever feel like this, it’s kinda fascinating lol.”
She also funneled some of her well-earned wisdom into a children’s book, The Way Champs Play, posting a photo of her pup Butta appearing to scan the brightly illustrated pages.
“For me, I just remember being really inspired by books growing up,” Osaka explained to Roberts on GMA last month, “so just to hopefully pass that feeling on to the next generation is really cool.”
And it turns out the next generation is on its way, ready to point at the tennis court—or the bookshelf—and say, “That’s my mom.”