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Naomi Osaka Opens Up On Playing French Open Year After Withdrawing Early

Naomi Osaka playing tennis.

MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - MARCH 23: Naomi Osaka of Japan reacts in her match against Su-Wei Hsieh of Taipei during the Miami Open Tennis on March 23, 2019 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Before the start of the French Open in 2021, Naomi Osaka announced that she would not speak to the press. She eventually pulled out of the tournament, revealing that she dealt with "huge waves of anxiety." 

While at Roland Garros this Friday, Osaka revisited last year's situation. 

Osaka admit she was worried about her return to the French Open, but so far her experience this year has been mostly positive. 

"I'm not going to lie. When I first came here, I was very worried. I was just kind of worried if there would be people that - of course, I also didn't like how I handled the situation - but I was worried that there were people that I offended some way and I would just kind of bump into them," Osaka said, via ESPN. "But I think everyone has been really positive, for the most part. I'm not really so sure. I was also very worried about this press conference, because I knew I'd get a lot of questions about this." 

Osaka continued: "For me, where I am right now, I wouldn't want to say it hasn't left my mind. Of course, I'm still thinking about it."

Last year, Osaka took multiple mental health breaks. Her absence resulted in her falling to No. 38 in the rankings. 

Make no mistake though, Osaka remains a threat to go all the way in every tournament.  

Osaka will face Amanda Anisimova in the first round on Sunday.