Osaka is a four-time Grand Slam individual champion
Naomi Osaka says she has felt “ungrateful” at times over the past year for failing to appreciate her success.
The world number two spoke after beating American teenager Coco Gauff at the Cincinnati Open on Wednesday.
She also talked about her reasons for Withdrawal from the French Open in May, said on the eve of this tournament that speaking to the media is damaging their mental health.
“I wonder what influenced me … made me not do media?” She said.
“I wonder if I was scared because sometimes I would see headlines from players who had lost and then the next day the headline would be like ‘a breakdown’ or ‘they’re not that big anymore’.”
She added, “The decision to go out and play, see fans, the people coming out and watching you play, that’s quite an accomplishment and I’m not sure when I started desensitizing that.
“It started not to be an accomplishment for me so I felt very ungrateful for that fact.”
The 23-year-old Japanese also retired from Wimbledon to take a tennis break due to anxiety and depression.
She returned to play at her home Olympics in Tokyo, where she lit the fire at the opening ceremony before losing in the third round.
Cincinnati is their first tournament since Tokyo and on Monday At some point during her first press conference, she got tearful since the controversy over refusing to speak to the media at Roland Garros.
On Wednesday she was able to beat 17-year-old Gauff with 4-6 6-3 6-4 in the second round after a set and a breakdown.
Osaka believes the Covid-19 pandemic could have been a factor in her mental health problems too, saying recent world events have given her a new perspective.
“I definitely think this whole blister Covid thing was really stressful and not seeing the people and not having the interactions.
“But when you see the state of the world, how everything is in Haiti [her father’s homeland, which has been hit by an earthquake and tropical storm in recent days] and Afghanistan Right now it’s definitely really crazy, and for me, just hitting a tennis ball in the United States and people come and watch me play is … world. “
Elsewhere, the British Heather Watson was knocked out in the second round by the Australian world number one Ashleigh Barty.
Barty won 6: 4, 7: 6 (7: 3) and now meets defending champion Victoria Azarenka from Belarus in the round of 16.
Osaka will face Swiss Jill Teichmann in the quarter-finals.