‘I have never been that nervous before in my life,’ admits Naomi Osaka
Naomi Osaka has admitted she was overcome with nerves as she played at a Grand Slam as world number one for the first time on Tuesday.
The Japanese star was bageled in the first set and a break down in the second before somehow managing to salvage a 0-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-1 win to book her passage into the French Open second round.
And, after the match, came the startling admission.
“For me, I think this is the most nervous I have ever been my entire life during a match,” Osaka told reporters.
“I think you could see that in the first set. I was literally not hitting any balls in the court.
“For me, today was weird because usually, the nerves go away, but it kind of stayed the entire match. Then I just felt like it was a fight of willpower.”
Osaka did, of course, still manage to win the match despite her struggles.
How, therefore, does she begin to analyse the performance? Typically, she has her theories.
“Yeah, I managed to win in the end, so I can give you logical reasons, but I’m not really a logical person.
“Logical reasons, first time playing a Grand Slam as No. 1. Won the last two, so I kind of want to win this one really bad.
“I have never played on Chatrier before. This was my first time. And, yeah, I kind of feel like I’m having the thought of wanting to prove myself again.
“So I was just thinking, like, I have so many shots that I normally feel like I would hit well, and then it was just one of those, like, I was sort of just, ‘what was my thought process behind that?’
“Yeah, for me today was a bit tough, because, like, it’s one of those matches where you’re not playing well but you have to find a way to win.
“For me, I’ve just begun learning how to do that.”
More from Tennis365:
Andy Murray finally delivers a knockout punch against a top-10 player as he beats Hubert Hurkacz in Vienna
The pieces continue to fall into place for Andy Murray as he finally gets a win over a top-10 player.
‘I don’t think there is any pressure, but everyone should be a little patient with me,’ urges Emma Raducanu
The US Open winner is seeking her first WTA Tour match victory.
Cameron Norrie headlines Great Britain’s Davis Cup Finals squad with Andy Murray left out as expected
World No 14 Norrie is Great Britain’s top-seeded player in the ATP Rankings.
High praise for Emma Raducanu from Simona Halep as Romanian highlights US Open champion’s feature qualities
“I think what impressed me was her aggressiveness.”
WTA Finals race between Ons Jabeur and Anett Kontaveit heats up as Tunisian jokingly urges rival to ‘back off’
Ons Jabeur and Anett Kontaveit enjoy some online banter.
‘Becoming the No 1 in the world is still the goal’ for ‘experienced’ Daniil Medvedev
“If I’ll catch up with him this year, excellent, but if not I will try to do it down the road.”
‘I am proud of putting myself in a position to compete with the top guys,’ says Andy Murray
“It has been amazing that I have been able to even get back and be playing,” says Murray.
Novak Djokovic and co to be given Australian Open lifeline? Leaked email suggests vaccination policy U-turn
Policy U-turn set to open door for unvaccinated players?
Jannik Sinner and Aslan Karatsev are big ATP Tour winners on finals Sunday
Aslan Karatsev won the VTB Kremlin Cup.
Emma Raducanu opens up on her coaching dilemma as she aims to shine in Romania
Raducanu is relaxed at the prospect of finishing the season without a coach.