Each time Naomi Osaka has won a Grand Slam, it's been under intense circumstances: crowd chaos (2018 US Open), scoreboard pressure (2019 Australian Open), being in the spotlight as a social activist (2020 US Open).
One can't help but wonder how she's managed to succeed each time.
Appearing as part of The Boardroom's "Young CEO Experience," Osaka gave some insight into the tournament mentality that's served her so well.
Host Rich Kleiman, citing LeBron James' strategy of limiting his phone use during the playoffs, asked Osaka whether she does anything special to tune out the digital noise.
"I don't ignore a lot of texts, but I do sort of forget about them sometimes," Osaka said. "I don't black out, but the only numbers that I would call are my mom, my dad and my sister, and then everyone else sort of secondary."
As a player around whom the central question isn't whether she'll win a major tile, but how many, Osaka must also face the temptation to lose sight of the small stuff—each point, each games each match. Being present and remembering the task directly in front of her, must be part of the game plan as well.
"My focus is the next major or the next tournament that I play," Osaka said. "I think I do better when my goal are short-term, as opposed to making it about wanting to win 10 Grand Slams or whatever. I feel like that puts too much pressure on me."
If all goes according to plan, she'll be competing for No. 4 in Australia come January.