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 tense and emotional when addressing the media during the mandatory press conference at Roland Garros.
The former world No. 1 subsequently withdrew from the 2021 French Open and revealed she has “suffered from prolonged bouts of depression” since winning her first major championship in 2018.
“Of course, I also didn’t like how I handled the whole situation, but I was worried that there were people that I offended in some way and I might run into 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 is 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 didn’t get out of my head. Of course, I still think about it.
“I’m kind of preparing myself in case I go out on the court and some fan says something like Indian Wells. Yes, for the most part I think I’m fine.”
Unseeded Osaka will face number one. Amanda Anisimova with number 27 on Monday in the first round of the 2022 French Open.
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated when Naomi Osaka is playing against Amanda Anisimova. Match on Monday.