Naomi Osaka lost her first-round match to Amanda Anisimova 7-5, 6-4 at Roland Garros on Monday and might opt out of Wimbledon.
Osaka, a four-time Grand Slam winner, is dealing with an Achilles injury and withdrew from the Italian Open tuneup before deciding to stick with the French Open in Paris.
Monday’s match lasted just 90 minutes. Osaka wasn’t at the French Open last year, taking one of two mental health breaks in the calendar year after declining to speak with media.
She said playing Wimbledon without the possibility to add rankings points makes the Grand Slam tourney similar to an “exhibition.”
“Yeah, like for me, I’m not sure why but, like, I feel like if I play Wimbledon without points, it’s more like an exhibition,” Osaka said. “I know this isn’t true, right? But my brain just like feels that way. 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 towards not playing given the current circumstances but, you know, that might change.”
Osaka said not playing as often as usual in preparation for the French Open was likely a limiting factor on Monday. She took to Court Suzanne Lenglen with tape on her left Achilles, but said it didn’t impact the loss.
“I still kind of felt it a little, which I’m going to see what happens when it wears off,” Osaka said. “I think, like, I kind of prepared myself to feel it, so that wasn’t really the wearing part. It was just annoying to me because, the last time I played here, our serves were really important. And, coming into this tournament, I didn’t serve a lot, because we kind of wanted to wait until last minute to protect my Achilles.”
–Field Level Media