Osaka plays first match since she pulled out of French OpenWin comes two days after No 2 seed lit the Olympic cauldron
In the two months since Naomi Osaka withdrew from the French Open to protect her mental health after all the noise that followed her decision not to attend press conferences there, she has been everywhere and nowhere at once. As she rested at home, the Tokyo media blitz planned long ago went into overdrive. There were magazine covers, a Netflix documentary and Olympic commercials, then on Friday she stood in the Olympic Stadium with the world watching as she lit the Olympic Cauldron.
Two days after lining newspaper front pages around the world even more than when she won four grand slam titles, Osaka returned to the place where she is most comfortable, the tennis court, and she produced a solid opening win as she defeated Zheng Saisai 6-1, 6-4 to reach the second round in Tokyo.