Naomi Osaka - Roland Garros 2024

Naomi Osaka reveals she ‘cried’ after Roland Garros defeat to Iga Swiatek

Naomi Osaka has reacted to her second round match with Iga Swiatek at Roland Garros, after being on the brink of eliminating the defending champion.

Osaka was beaten, 6(1)-7 6-1 5-7, by the world No.1 in a match that lasted exactly three hours at Roland Garros.

In the deciding set, the Japanese star led 5-2 and had a single match point, but Swiatek won five consecutive games to keep her title defence alive.

Despite having a match point, Osaka did not seem aware of this when speaking in her press conference, “So at 5-3, I definitely felt like I had a chance. I think I was playing point by point, and eventually I didn’t have that chance anymore. I kind of think of it more as an opportunity, I mean, I am not even sure I had a match point.”

At this point, a member of press told Osaka that she did in fact have have a match point at 3-5 30-40 in that third set, to which she responded, “I did? That sucks. I think there is a reason why she is number one, and she played certain points really well. For me, while I was playing with her, I was learning too. It feels bad, but I really think I can grow from this experience.”

Although Osaka appeared to be in more upbeat spirits in her press conference, the 26-year-old revealed that she was teary after coming off Court Philippe-Chatrier.

“I cried when I got off the court but I’m good now,” said Osaka. “I was watching Iga winning this tournament last year when I was pregnant and it was my dream just to play her.”

She continued, “When I kind of think of it like that, I think I’m doing pretty well. I’m also just trying not to be too hard on myself. I feel like I played her on her better surface. I’m a hard-court kid, so I would love to play her on my surface and see what happens.

“I feel like I’m playing better because there were specific things I worked on to get better. I also feel like it’s tough because obviously the results aren’t resulting right now. I’m growing every tournament. I’m just trying to apply myself. I also feel, the last time I played Iga, which was in Miami (2022 final), I got bagelled in one set, so I do think that I’m hopefully playing better.”

Osaka will now turn her attention to the grass courts, another surface where she has had mixed results over the years.

However, the four-time major winner appears excited about the challenge ahead, “I’m kind of excited for it because I feel like it’s definitely a new challenge for me. I haven’t played that many grass tournaments.”

And the current No.134 suggested that she is hoping to peak for the US Open hard court swing later this year, “I’m kind of setting myself up for September.”

Before the hope of peaking in Autumn, Osaka will head to The Netherlands for the WTA 250 tournament in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, after receiving a wildcard, and then will compete in Eastbourne the week prior to Wimbledon.

Inside the baseline…

It was a phenomenal performance from Naomi Osaka, and by far her best on a clay court. The former world No.1 really had Iga Swiatek on the brink, and perhaps should have taken her chances to beat the three-time Roland Garros champion. Despite the second round exit, it has been a clay court season to be proud of for Osaka and there are promising signs for the Japanese star ahead of Wimbledon.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.