Osaka pleased by steady progress despite French Open disappointment

May 30, 2024 11:08 am

Japan's Naomi Osaka [Source: Reuters]

Naomi Osaka came close to dumping top seed Iga Swiatek out of Roland Garros on Wednesday and the former world number one said she was sure the best display of her comeback season could spur her to climb into the top five again.

The 26-year-old Japanese player has slipped down the world rankings and is currently 134th, having returned to the tour in January after a 15-month break during which she had her first child, and she has endured patchy form in the last few months.

After early losses on clay in Rouen and Madrid, Osaka went on to reach the Rome fourth round, embracing her least favourite surface in a bid to succeed at Roland Garros, where she lost 7-6(1) 1-6 7-5 to Swiatek in a high-octane second-round clash.

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Osaka squandered a match point against defending champion Swiatek at 5-3 in the decider and said she was reduced to tears afterwards but was encouraged by the progress she had made.

She also looked forward to the American hardcourt swing and a return to the U.S. Open, which she won in 2018 and 2020.