French Open 2022 is an upcoming Grand Slam tennis tournament to be played on Former world no.1 Naomi Osaka has been a huge personality in the tennis world over the last four years both on and off the court. From winning Grand Slam majors to being a mental health crusader, the Japanese star has never been far from the headlines in French Open 2022.
Will Naomi Osaka be playing at the French Open?
Naomi Osaka is set to make her sixth appearance at Roland-Garros but will be unseeded at the French Open for the first time since 2017.The Japan right-hander is on the sixth line of betting to win the tournament, with Polish world no.1 Iga Swiatek the overwhelming favourite to lift the trophy.
Why did Naomi Osaka withdraw during French Open 2021?
After heading to Roland-Garros as second seed in 2021, Osaka announced pre-tournament that she would not be participating in her mandatory media requirements.
Following a win in her first match, Osaka was true to her word, failing to attend the post-match press conference, with French Open organisers fining her $15,000 and warning of further punishment for absconding from media duties.
Osaka responded by withdrawing from the tournament the following day, citing mental health issues, with reaction to her stand from players, critics and sponsors mixed.
How has Naomi Osaka performed on the court recently?
Osaka’s current ranking of 38 – meaning she will just miss out on being seeded for the French Open – but she also dropped as low as world no.85 in February this year.
She has had an up-and-down 2022 which started with a round of 32 exit at the Australian Open to Amanda Anisimova, before she bombed out of Indian Wells in the round of 64.
Osaka managed to surge up the rankings by reaching the final in Miami, with Iga Swiatek stopping her from claiming the title.On clay, a round of 32 defeat to Sara Sorribes Tormo at the Madrid Open was followed by an injury withdrawal from the Italian Open.
What success has Naomi Osaka had in her tennis career?
Osaka is a former world no.1 and four-time Grand Slam major winner at the age of 24.
Twice she has won the U.S Open and then followed it up with the Australian Open, between 2018-19 and 2020-21.
Intriguingly, she has never made it past the fourth round in any of her other 17 Grand Slam major appearances.Four of her seven major WTA titles have been Grand Slams, with her other victories coming in Osaka, Beijing (2019) and Indian Wells (2018).She has amassed over $20 million in career prize money.
What has Naomi Osaka achieved off the court?
Regularly in the headlines during her career, Osaka has been tennis’ most vocal supporter of supporting mental health.
She withdrew from French Open 2021 citing mental health reasons after organisers fined her for not attending a post-match press conference.
Speaking following her loss to Anisimova at Australian Open 2022, Osaka explained she was ‘trying to have more fun on the court’ and was happy because she had taken measures to improve her mental health.
Osaka has also been involved in activism, withdrawing from the Cincinnati Open in 2020 to raise awareness for the U.S police shooting of Jacob Blake – with the WTA following her lead by postponing all matches for the day.
During U.S Open 2020, using her face mask in arriving on court for each match, Osaka displayed the name of an African American that had been killed in previous times – including Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, George Floyd, Philando Castile, and Tamir Rice.