Naomi Osaka on French Open controversy: ‘I feel like there are a lot of things that I did wrong in that moment’

US Open
Naomi Osaka looking down

She concedes that she made mistakes when she withdrew from this year’s French Open, but Naomi Osaka is confident “the same situation won’t happen again”.

The four-time major stunned the world of tennis in May when she withdrew from Roland Garros on the back of her first-round win, citing mental health reasons. The move came after she followed through with her decision not to speak to the media and she was fined for skipping the mandatory post-match press conference with the four Grand Slams also threatening to expel her from the event and future majors.

The Japanese star then withdrew from Wimbledon while she lost in the third round at the Tokyo Olympics.

Naomi Osaka admits Olympics was an ‘eye-opener’ as athletes praised her for raising awareness about mental health

She will return to Grand Slam action this week as she will defend her US Open title and spoke to the media at Flushing Meadows.

“Honestly, I feel like there’s a lot of things that I did wrong in that moment, but I’m also the type of person that’s very in the moment,” she said.

“Like whatever I feel, I’ll say it or do it. I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing. I think there are a lot of things that I learned to do better. Of course, I don’t feel the same situation will happen again.

She added: “I would say maybe think it through a bit more in the way that, like, I didn’t know how big of a deal it would become.”

Osaka will kick off the defence of her title on the back of a last-16 defeat at the Cincinnati Masters, but the world No 3 is “pretty happy” with her game.

“Honestly, I know I haven’t played that many matches. I know that I haven’t even gotten to a quarterfinal [in a while],” she said.

“Actually I feel pretty happy with how I’m playing. I thought I played two really tough matches in Cincinnati. The girl that I lost to, she played really well. I didn’t play her before, so I had no information on her.

“It’s one of those things where you do have to have a match rhythm. Of course, I played literally no tournaments before that match.

“I feel pretty confident with where I am right now. Of course I’m not declaring that I’ll do amazing here. For me, I’m the one-match-at-a-time like person. Hopefully it will work out in the end.”

Latest