Osaka feeling 'refreshed, happy again' at Tokyo Olympics
Naomi Osaka (JPN) in action. Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

Naomi Osaka feeling 'refreshed, happy again' at Tokyo Olympics

Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka, who lit the Olympic cauldron, defeated 52nd-ranked Zheng Saisai of China 6-1, 6-4 on Sunday in her first match of this summer's Tokyo Olympics. 

Osaka hadn't played in nearly two months since she withdrew from the French Open in May to take a mental health break. She also sat out Wimbledon. 

Following Sunday's win over Saisai, Osaka said she feels "refreshed" and "happy again" competing at this summer's Games following her much-needed break from competitive tennis and speaking with the media. 

"More than anything else, I'm just focused on playing tennis," Osaka said, according to ESPN. "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."

After Osaka withdrew from the French Open, several athletes and celebrities publicly supported her, including NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace, who said he could relate to what the tennis star was going through. 

Osaka will next face 50th-ranked Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland. She is now the favorite to win gold in Tokyo after top-ranked Ashleigh Barty was upset by 48th-ranked Spanish opponent Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-4, 6-3. 

Erin Walsh is a Boston sports fan through and through. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Bridgewater State University and currently is in pursuit of her Master's Degree in Journalism from Northeastern University. Follow her on Twitter @ewalsh90.

More must-reads:

Customize Your Newsletter

+

Get the latest news and rumors, customized to your favorite sports and teams. Emailed daily. Always free!

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.