Then the tennis superstar talked to the media again after shunning press conferences and eventually withdrawing from the French Open in May to preserve her mental health. Bouts of anxiety had prompted her to rethink subjecting herself to probing questions about her performance. She hadn’t competed since the Paris Grand Slam ― and hadn’t faced post-match interviews with the press.
“More than anything else I’m just focused on playing tennis,” Osaka told reporters afterward on Sunday, per The Associated Press. “The Olympics has been a dream of mine since I was a kid so I feel like the break that I took was very needed. I feel definitely a little bit refreshed and I’m happy again.”
Osaka, representing Japan, said she was “happy” that journalists asked questions.
“I feel a little bit out of my body right now,” she said. “There’s nothing wrong with my body, I just felt really nervous,” Osaka said. “I haven’t played since France so there were definitely some things that I did a bit wrong but I think I can improve in the matches that I continue playing.”
Osaka, who lit the Olympic cauldron at the opening ceremony, plays next against 50th-ranked Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.