Naomi Osaka Reflects on 'Character Test' After Early Exits at French, Madrid Opens

Erin WalshMay 24, 2022

PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 23: Naomi Osaka of Japan vs Amanda Anisimova of USA during the Women's Singles First Round match on Day 2 of The 2022 French Open at Roland Garros on May 23, 2022 in Paris, France. (Photo by Tnani Badreddine/DeFodi Images via Getty Images )
Tnani Badreddine/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

The past few weeks haven't been kind to Naomi Osaka, with two early exits in the Madrid Open and French Open in Europe. However, the Japanese tennis star appears to be in a good place despite the rough outings.

Osaka tweeted Tuesday that the "past few weeks in Europe have been a real character test," but that she's leaving Roland Garros this week with her head held high.

NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ @naomiosaka

These past few weeks in Europe have been a real character test but I’m glad I came 😂 overall just really happy this year I’m leaving with a completely different emotion than the previous one. Ty Paris ❤️ <a href="https://t.co/5AbTZcD6ct">pic.twitter.com/5AbTZcD6ct</a>

After falling to world No. 1 Iga Swiatek in the final of the Miami Open in early April, Osaka suffered a second-round defeat to Sara Sorribes Tormo in the Madrid Open and a first-round exit to Amanda Anisimova at the French Open on Monday.

Since taking a mental health break last May, Osaka has plummeted in the women's rankings, falling to No. 38, and has yet to win a tournament since the Australian Open in 2021. She did reach the third round of this year's Australian Open.

The 24-year-old has also struggled with an Achilles injury that forced her to withdraw from the Italian Open two weeks ago. 

However, she's uncertain if she'll compete at Wimbledon next month after the WTA and ATP announced no rankings points would be given at the tournament because of its ban on Russian and Belarusian players from playing because of the war in Ukraine. 

"I feel like if I play Wimbledon without points, it's more like an exhibition. I know this isn't true, right? But my brain just like feels that way," Osaka told reporters. "Whenever I think like something is like an exhibition, I just can't go at it 100 percent.

"I didn't even make my decision yet, but I'm leaning more toward not playing given the current circumstances."

Osaka hasn't played on a grass court since 2019. Wimbledon is set to begin on June 27 in London.