Paris 2024: Osaka aims to participate "and win a medal." GETTY IMAGES

Former world number one Naomi Osaka has expressed her desire to play in the upcoming Paris Olympics. She may have to go through an appeals process to secure a place in the Games.

The potential challenge comes from the fact that she failed to meet the requirement of making two mandatory appearances for Japan in the Billie Jean King Cup during the current Olympic cycle. She just did it in one.

It is an odd situation because she lit the cauldron for Tokyo 2020 and it seemed strange that she wouldn't play in the next Olympics if she felt like it. The explanation is that Osaka returned at the end of last year after 15 months of maternity leave.

"Growing up watching the Olympics on TV, I thought it was a celebration of sport. I thought it brought everyone together and just being an athlete there and interacting with other athletes is one of the funniest things that I've ever done," Osaka said.

The 26-year-old has gone from 831st to 193rd in six tournaments since her return and has failed the semi-finals in any of them. She stressed she was hoping "that I can play and get a medal."

"I would hope to do really well in one of the clay court tournaments and also on grass. Honestly, I feel like I've improved every match, so I think it's possible for me," Osaka said.

The Japanese tennis player won her last tournament on 20 February 2021, when she defeated the US Jennifer Brady 6-4 and 6-3 in the final of the the Australian Open. Osaka went on to win three more Grand Slams in her career including another Australian Open (2019) and two US Open (2018 and 2020).