Naomi Osaka is ‘glad again’ after winning the opening match of the Tokyo Olympics.
Naomi Osaka won her first match at Tokyo 2020 with ease.
After winning her first match at the Tokyo Olympics, Naomi Osaka is “glad again” and “refreshed.” The Japanese tennis player addressed the media for the first time since she boycotted news conferences at the French Open in June owing to mental health issues that forced her to withdraw from the tournament.
Osaka, who hasn’t played in a competition since withdrawing from Roland Garros eight weeks ago, looked impressive in her 6-1 6-4 victory over Zheng Saisai.
The 23-year-old has spoken out about her melancholy, which she has been dealing with since winning the US Open in 2018.
And, as a result of her troubles, she decided not to attend any press conferences at the French Open, prompting a backlash from tournament organizers who threatened to kick her out.
In response to her choice, the world No. 2 withdrew from the tournament, and Wimbledon decided to take a vacation from the sport in preparation for her home Olympics in Tokyo.
“I definitely feel a little bit renewed and pleased again,” she stated after winning the first round.
“Being able to compete in the Olympics has been a childhood ambition of mine, therefore I believe the hiatus I took was very [much]required.
“I feel like I’m more concentrated on playing tennis than anything else.”
With several strong female athletes competing at the Tokyo Olympics, like gymnast Simone Biles and athletics great Dina Asher-Smith, the Japanese tennis star was also asked about her thoughts on women’s sport.
‘Women’s sports are on the upswing,’ she continued.
“I feel more equal than before, but there are times when we’re a little better – not in skill, but in our ability to express ourselves and other things like that. I believe we are a formidable force.”
Osaka is widely regarded as the games’ face, and she is a strong candidate for gold in the women’s singles.
During the opening ceremony at the Japan National Stadium on Friday, the reigning Australian Open and US Open champion lighted the Olympic flame.
On Tuesday, she will face Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland in the second round.
Osaka had a lift earlier on Sunday as world No. 1 and newly crowned Wimbledon champion Ash Barty was knocked out in a stunning loss to “Brinkwire Summary News”.