Naomi Osaka: A year after the sudden withdrawal, Naomi Osaka takes part in the French Open press session.

Twelve months later from refusal to communicate with the media During the event, citing mental health issues, Osaka met the press with reflection, 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 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.

Naomi Osaka of Japan plays on the left against Spaniard Sara Zorribes Tormo during the round of 16 match on the fourth day of the Mutua Madrid Open at La Caja Magica on May 1, 2022.

“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.

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Osaka was two months ago squabble by the audience in the crowd during a game in Indian Wells, California. “Naomi, you suck,” the onlooker shouted. The comment brought the Japanese superstar to tears on the court.

“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.