Japan’s Naomi Osaka crashed out of the French Open to lose 7-5 6-4 in the first round to American Amanda Anisimova on Monday, a year after her dramatic withdrawal from the claycourt Grand Slam tournament amid mental health issues.
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Facing 27th seed Anisimova, Grand Slam champion Osaka didn’t seem comfortable on her least favorable surface as she struggled to control her powerful style of play.
All of the first three matches went against serve on a tense start but Anisimova held on to lead 3-1.
Anisimova’s backhand error allowed Osaka to draw 3-3, but a double fault in the eleventh game allowed Anisimova to lead 6-5 and she continued to serve to win the set.
And Anisimova broke decisively 4-3 in the second set as Osaka fouled again in the match.
After begging for a few points from the match, Anisimova finished the match with a stunning backhand on the line.
Osaka withdrew from the tournament in 2021 after boycotting media duties after the match for mental health reasons.
In preparation for last year’s French Open, Osaka said she would not attend the mandatory press conferences for players after matches because it affected her mental health.
The Japanese, who revealed at the time that she had been suffering from depression for nearly three years, returned to competitive tennis at the Tokyo Olympics after the saga highlighted the players’ media duties after the match.
Roland Garros’ organizers have admitted they could “perform better” on mental health this year.
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