Naomi Osaka Loses to Amanda Anisimova in Straight Sets in Round 1 of 2022 French Open

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVMay 23, 2022


Naomi Osaka has once again exited the French Open early.

Amanda Anisimova earned a 7-5, 6-4 win over Osaka during their first-round match Monday, marking the second time the former world No. 1 has failed to get past her opening match at Roland Garros.

Osaka has never gotten past the third round in Paris and is just 7-5 in her career at the clay-court major.

Anisimova has knocked Osaka out of each of the first two Grand Slams this year. 

"When you see Naomi Osaka in the first round, you don't think it's going to be easy," Anisimova told reporters after the match. "A very tough match, and going out there I knew I had to play good tennis, and the conditions weren't easy."

Osaka was making her first appearance at Roland Garros since withdrawing from the event ahead of her second-round matchup last year amid mental health concerns. The four-time major champion was threatened by Roland Garros with expulsion from the tournament after Osaka said she preferred to avoid media obligations because of anxiety.

Most criticized Roland Garros' stance on the matter, which overshadowed much of the 2021 French Open tournament. Osaka would take an extended mental-health break from tennis in the aftermath of her French departure, one of two during the 2021 season.

"I feel comfortable in who I am and where I have come from," Osaka told Morgan Jerkins of Self. "There have been ups and downs and I wouldn't change a thing, which really helps to give me inner peace. ... I have a new perspective and I'm so appreciative that I have this career and platform. I'm also really energized and motivated."

Even as she's been able to return to tennis, Osaka has not found her groove with her game. She's reached just one final since winning the 2021 Australian Open and has had to withdraw from two tournaments because of injury, including this month's Italian Open.

The version of Osaka that showed up Monday was nowhere near her peak form. She double-faulted eight times and committed 29 unforced errors, struggling with her ball placement as Anisimova breezed through in relatively quick fashion.

Osaka's next chance at winning a fifth major will come at Wimbledon, where she will be playing for the first time since 2019. 


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