Naomi Osaka sparked fresh debate around mental health last year in the build up to the French Open when she refused to attend obligatory news conferences for players after matches, and ultimately withdrew from the clay-court major, citing mental wellbeing issues.
Ahead of this year’s tournament, the Japanese player - who at that time revealed she had been suffering from depression for almost three years - has admitted apprehension of bumping into people she might have “offended” last year during the saga.
"I was just kind of worried if there would be people that like -- of course I also didn't like how I handled the situation, but I was worried that there were people that I offended in some way and I would just kind of bump into them,” she said.
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"But I think like everyone has been really positive, for the most part. I'm not really so sure."
Roland Garros organisers acknowledged they could "do better" on players’ mental health when dealing with post-match media duties.
Osaka added: “I was also very worried about this press conference because I knew I'd get a lot of questions about this.
"But, yeah, I think for me where I am right now, like I have -- I wouldn't want to say it's like it hasn't left my mind.
"Of course I'm still thinking about it, and I'm like kind of also prepping just in case... Yeah, for the most part, I think I'm OK."
The 24-year-old has returned for the 2022 French Open, and will be looking for her first major victory at the tournament.
She has been suffering with an Achilles injury and was absent for a clay court warm-up in Rome earlier this month, but is relishing the challenge at Roland Garros.
"For me, there is no way I’m not going to play this tournament. So, of course, you kind of have to manage things," Osaka said. "But, at the same time, I’m going to pop a few painkillers. ... I have actually played a lot of Grand Slams with something.
"So I think maybe there is a possibility I could play really good when I have an injury, because I feel like I don’t have anything to lose."
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