With a smile on her face, Osaka told reporters she was “worried about this press conference because I knew I’d get a lot of questions about this.”
Last year, Osaka was visibly stressed and emotional while addressing the media during an obligatory news conference at Roland Garros.
The former world number one subsequently pulled out of the 2021 French Open and revealed she had “suffered long bouts of depression” since winning her first major championship in 2018.
“Of course, I also didn’t like how I handled the whole situation but I was worried that there were people that I offended in some way and I would bump into them,” Osaka said on Friday.
‘For the most part I think I’m okay’
Osaka reflected on what transpired in 2021 and revealed she was ready herself for how people might react to her return.
“I think for me where I am right now, I wouldn’t want to say that it hasn’t left my mind. Of course, I’m still thinking about it.
“I’m like kind of also prepping just in case I go on the court and some fan says something like in Indian Wells. Yeah, for the most part I think I’m okay.”
An unseeded Osaka faces no. 27 seed Amanda Anisimova on Monday in the first round of the 2022 French Open.
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated when Naomi Osaka plays against Amanda Anisimova. The match is on Monday.