Naomi Osaka’s return to the French Open ended in the first round on Monday. (Watch highlights below.)
The former top-ranked player lost her opening match to Amanda Anisimova 7-5, 6-4 at Roland Garros on Court Suzanne Lenglen.
Osaka is a four-time Grand Slam champion who took two mental health breaks last season. That included one that began when she withdrew before her second-round match at the French Open. She said after her defeat Monday that she is leaning toward skipping Wimbledon again over a ruling that will affect players’ rankings.
Anisimova is a 20-year-old American who reached the French Open semifinals in 2019. She also beat Osaka in the third round at the Australian Open in January.
Osaka double-faulted twice on break point, once in each set. After the second, which gave Anisimova a 4-3 lead, Osaka took a 40-0 lead in the next game but the American held.
Osaka played with tape on her left Achilles. She was stretching it and kicking it with her right foot when she was broken in the seventh game of the second set.
“Honestly I didn’t feel my Achilles until the second set, I would say,” Osaka said, per RolandGarros.com. “So in the first set I was totally fine. I think the serve issue was just down to playing a really good returner and kind of being a bit shaken by what she could possibly do. So I was trying to maybe go for too much, more than usual.
“I also haven’t practiced as much as I wanted to. But, yeah, I was really grateful for the crowd, like I could feel a lot of energy. It was really fun to play there, even though I didn’t win.”
Osaka says she is “leaning more towards not playing” at Wimbledon again because the WTA and ATP have said they will not award ranking points this year after the All England Club banned players from Russia and Belarus because of the invasion of Ukraine.
Osaka said the tennis tours’ move to withhold ranking points from Wimbledon “is kind of affecting my mentality” and she is “not 100% sure if I’m going to go there.”
She said she is “the type of player that gets motivated by seeing my ranking go up,” but added that she needs to think about the issue more before making a final decision and could change her mind.