2022 French Open: Naomi Osaka returns to Roland Garros, still a bit worried but ready to handle the atmosphere

A year after withdrawing from the French Open to look after her psychological health, Naomi Osaka is back in Paris and prepared to take on the obstacles ahead. Osaka took a huge advance on Friday when she participated in an interview ahead of this weekend’s competitors.

“For the most part, I think I’m OK,” she stated.

Last year, the previous world No. 1 stated that she experienced a “huge waves of anxiety” speaking with the media. After winning the preliminary, she stopped satisfying her media responsibilities and was struck with a $15,000 fine. She then took out of the competition. The psychological health concerns didn’t simply appear in 2021. Osaka shared on Instagram that she has actually suffered long bouts of anxiety because her U.S. Open win in 2018. She likewise described she has social stress and anxiety, which is the reason that frequently uses earphones throughout competitions. 

During Friday’s interview, Osaka confessed that there are a couple of things that are a bit uneasy in her return, however that she wishes to have the ability to manage them. One of those issues is hostile fans. Earlier this year, Osaka was given tears after being heckled at Indiana Wells. That occurrence is still fresh in her mind. 

“Of course, I’m still thinking about it, and I’m kind of also prepping just in case I go on the court and a fan says something like in Indian Wells,” she stated.

Osaka likewise confessed she felt various speaking with the media now, which she felt “funnier” and more loose than in 2015. 

“I feel like the thing that’s changed, me trying to figure out the crowd,” she stated “I feel like I’m a stand-up comedian, and I’m trying to figure out what’s okay and what’s not okay.”

While there will be challenges not straight associated to the video game, she will likewise need to deal with difficult obstacles on the court. The Japanese star will handle No. 27 seed Amanda Anisimova — who beat her at the Australian Open in Melbourne — for her first-round match. Osaka stated she was a bit surprised when her coach Wim Fissette informed her who her challenger will be. However, she is likewise prepared to welcome the rematch and utilize it as inspiration. 

“I wouldn’t say I don’t want to play her, because I feel like, for me, I’m the type of person that if you beat me, it motivates me more to win, and I also learned a lot from the match,” Osaka stated. 

She likewise confessed that it was a little bit of a relief since a first-round match versus Anisimova was not her worst case circumstance.

“I had a dream a couple of days ago that the draw came out, and I had to play Iga (Swiatek),” Osaka stated. “I was scared because I was thinking what’s the worst possible player to play when I’m unseeded. She came in my mind, so thank God that didn’t happen.”

Osaka, a four-time Grand Slam champ, is presently ranked 38th in the WTA rankings due to missing out on time for her psychological health and likewise an Achilles injury. 



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