*** ----> Osaka says ‘no excuses’ after defeat on clay return | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Osaka says ‘no excuses’ after defeat on clay return

AFP | Rouen

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

Naomi Osaka refused to blame a lengthy trip from Japan to France after losing in straight sets to Martina Trevisan in the first round of the WTA event in Rouen yesterday.

The former world number one was making her first appearance on clay since the 2022 French Open, when she was knocked out in the opening round and Trevisan reached the last four.

Osaka, who returned to action in January after taking a 15-month break while on maternity leave, had her chances in the first set against Trevisan, but the Japanese star could not capitalise on them and lost 6-4, 6-2.

“It was really difficult for me... it was my second time hitting on this type of court.

I think that overall I could have done better but I’ve tried my best,” said Osaka, a four-time Grand Slam champion.

The 26-year-old only arrived in France on Monday after playing for Japan in a Billie Jean King Cup qualifier last week against Kazakhstan in Tokyo.

Osaka has never reached a tour-level final on any surface other than hard courts, admitting the switch to clay was not an easy transition.

“I have never been the type to make excuses for myself, I just have to really do better,” she said, confirming her presence at next week’s Madrid Open.

“I think today, obviously, I didn’t hit too many great shots and I could have done better.

I’m kind of thinking I didn’t do too bad but also I’m pretty hard on myself.”

Osaka has said she would like to play in the Paris Olympics but might need to go through an appeals process after failing to make a mandatory two appearances for Japan in the BJK Cup during the current Games cycle.