Twelve months after refusing to speak to the media during the event, citing mental health reasons, Osaka met the press with thought, humor and caution.

With a smile on her face, Osaka told reporters that she was “worried about this press conference because I knew I would get a lot of questions about it.”

Last year, Osaka was visibly stressed and emotional while addressing the media during a mandatory press conference at Roland Garros.

The former world number one then pulled out of the 2021 French Open and revealed she had “suffered long periods of depression” since winning her first major championship in 2018.

“Of course, I also didn’t like the way I handled the whole situation, but I was afraid that there were people I was offending in some way and that I hits them,” Osaka said on Friday.

“For the most part, I think I’m fine”

Osaka reflected on what happened in 2021 and revealed that she was preparing for how people might react to her return.

“I think for me where I am right now, I wouldn’t like to say it hasn’t left my mind. Of course, I still think about it.

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Two months ago, Osaka was heckled by a spectator in the crowd during a game in Indian Wells, California. “Naomi, you suck,” the viewer seemed to shout. The comment brought the Japanese superstar to tears on the pitch.

“I’m also preparing myself in case I go out on the field and a fan says something like Indian Wells. Yeah, for the most part I think that’s fine.”

An unseeded Osaka will face No. 27 seed Amanda Anisimova on Monday in the first round of Roland Garros 2022.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated when Naomi Osaka plays against Amanda Anisimova. The game is Monday.

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