Naomi Osaka's sad announcement after first-round loss at French Open
Naomi Osaka has announced she's considering skipping Wimbledon next month after a first-round loss to Amanda Anisimova at the French Open on Monday.
Osaka made an unhappy return to Roland Garros on Monday, one year after pulling out of the clay-court tournament to protect her mental health.
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The four-time grand slam champion lost 7-5, 6-4 to Anisimova - a 20-year-old American who also beat Osaka in the third round at the Australian Open in January.
Osaka double-faulted twice on break point to go 5-6 down in the first set and 3-4 down in the second.
Each time Anisimova made the break count before going on with the victory.
Speaking in her post-match press conference, Osaka revealed she's likely to skip Wimbledon because of the WTA and ATP's decision to strip the tournament of rankings points.
Osaka said the decision is “is kind of affecting my mentality” and she is “not 100 per cent sure if I’m going to go there.”
“I’m leaning more towards not playing given the current circumstances. I’m the type of player that gets motivated by seeing my ranking go up,” she said.
“The intention of this measure was good, but the execution is all over the place.
"I’m sure there will be a bit of back and forth with the whole point situation. Then I guess I’ll make my decision.
“I feel like if I play Wimbledon without points, it’s more like an exhibition."
Osaka also provided a measure of the way in which her mindset might have changed since her previous appearance at the clay-court major, when she decided not to speak to the media at all (drawing a $15,000 fine and threat of further punishment, which prompted her withdrawal).
“I’m really happy with myself because I know the emotions that I left France (with) last year," she said.
“I mean, I feel like there is always more to do. You can’t progress and then just stop. You know what I’m saying? There always has to be evolution.
“But I feel like, as of right now, they are trying their best, and I think it’s really nice to see.”
Great! We don’t want this sulky brat anyway. 👍 https://t.co/h9Oq29ctak
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) May 23, 2022
Why would you!
Zero ranking points.
— Kermit Kane (@KermitKane11) May 23, 2022
Naomi Osaka has lost some of her spark. That’s sad, honestly.
— Holocene (@DiedreVsdice) May 23, 2022
If Naomi Osaka only wants to compete in majors, that’s her prerogative. She has plenty of money. But she will never be in form and it’s sad to see talent wasted.
— rmschloss (@rmschloss) May 23, 2022
It's so sad @naomiosaka you are always warrior...come back stronger @Wimbledon ...and congratulations @AnisimovaAmanda ....what a winners ....your aces are like bullets... 🔥 🔥
— UrsTrulySSMK (@UrsTrulySSMK) May 23, 2022
It's sad to watch young people grappling with issues in the public glare. Tennis should be joyful for Naomi Osaka, but she looked distressed today and it was tough to watch. I hope she finds some peace and if that means retirement - at 24 - look at Ash Barty's decision! https://t.co/QjeviIMPo0
— Neil Drysdale (@NeilDrysdale) May 23, 2022
Barbora Krejcikova crashes out of French Open
Meanwhile, Barbora Krejcikova has become only the third defending champion to be knocked out in the opening round at Roland Garros after losing to 97th-ranked Frenchwoman Diane Parry.
Krejcikova's defeat came in her first match in three months because of an injured right elbow.
Nevertheless, she started sharply and won eight of the first nine games to take a one-set lead, only for the 19-year-old Parry to reel off six-straight games to tie the match before winning 1-6 6-2 6-3.
Parry received raucous backing from spectators shouting for her at Court Philippe Chatrier, where the noise echoed under the retractable roof pulled shut because of rain.
"It's a dream for me. It was always a dream to play on this court, with the French crowd to support me," she said.
"They clearly pushed me to victory today. I'm the happiest person right now."
In complete contrast, Krejcikova was in tears as she described how she 'hit a wall'.
"I just collapsed physically. It was tough because I didn't play the matches," she said.
"Matches are different to practices. I tried to prepare the best way I could."
The only other women to lose in the first round after the winning the title the year before are Anastasia Myskina in 2005 and Jelena Ostapenko in 2018.
Elsewhere, World No.1 Iga Swiatek extended her winning streak to 29 matches after beating Ukraine's Lesia Tsurenko 6-2 6-0 in 54 minutes - the longest run by a woman since Serena Williams won 34 in a row in 2013.
Petra Kvitova, a two-time semi-finalist in Paris, beat Anna Bondar 7-6 (7-0) 6-1 while Victoria Azarenka, a semi-finalist in 2013, defeated Ana Bogdan 6-7 (7-9) 7-6 (7-1) 6-2.
Emma Raducanu also won on her Roland Garros debut but was made to work for her victory as she came back from a set down to beat Czech qualifier Linda Noskova 6-7 (4-7) 7-5 6-1.
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