Naomi Osaka can’t sort out her thoughts on the one-week delay to the start of the French Open, with this week’s Rome second seed not particularly thrilled at spending an eventual extra week in Europe into mid-July.
The Japanese player who is trying to base her season around the Tokyo Olympics, said on Sunday at the Rome Masters that the May 30 start of hostilities in Paris can be viewed from two sides.
“In beginning I was a bit sad because I thought it would definitely mean more time away from home,” the Florida-based player said.
“This year seems a bit chaotic especially with the Olympics coming for me, I feel it’s a really important time.
“I would have loved to be at home for more.”
Osaka is seeded second behind Ash Barty at what will be a crowd-free event starting on Monday.
“But at the same time I feel I need the extra time on clay, especially with my past results. Hopefully I do better.
“But I’m not really mad at, I guess, grinding on clay and practising here (Europe) for a couple more weeks.”
After winning the US Open in September, Osaka did not play in Paris last autumn when the clay Grand Slam was held in October instead of the usual spring period due to COVID.
Her last appearance in Rome came in 2019, where she lost in the quarter-finals to Kiki Bertens. She lost in the Madrid second round a week ago before travelling to Italy.
“Honestly, I’m here for match prep. I feel like I’m learning a lot. It gives me a lot of drive to practise harder and to learn from all my practices.
“I don’t take it in a bad way that I haven’t played a lot of matches.”