began her campaign at the 2022 BNP Paribas Open with a thrilling 3-6,
6-1, 6-2 win over Sloane Stephens on Thursday.

her post-match press conference, Osaka said that she was “fighting for her
life” amidst the extreme wind conditions during her match. She said she
had to exert immense willpower and was proud of how she prevailed through the
unfavourable match conditions.

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haven’t played in a wind like that for a while, so this was very new to me,”
said Osaka. “I felt like I was fighting for my life. I was playing against her;
I was playing against the wind. It was crazy. I just kept thinking she was
going through the same circumstances as me, so I just had to will myself to try
as hard as I could. I’m really proud with how I handled it.”

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24-year-old, who had lost both of her previous matches against Stephens,
heaped praise on the American. She said the match was a “good test”
for her and expressed her hopes of squaring off against Stephens again in more
suitable conditions in the future.

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[Stephens] is such a champion,” the 24-year-old said. “Hopefully, next time we
play will be in more ideal conditions. But it was great to be out here again.
That was a really good test for me.”

Need more game time: Osaka

a four-time Grand Slam champion, further said that there is a need to include
more game time in her schedule. After her third-round loss at the 2021 US Open,
Naomi Osaka said that winning didn’t make her “happy” anymore and
kept away from the tour for the remainder of the season.

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who is in action this week for the first time since her third-round loss at the
Australian Open in January, admitted that she must play more matches and avoid
taking long breaks frequently.

keep taking these long breaks,” World No. 78 said. “I do need to play a lot
more matches and I do need to give myself the opportunity to get more into the
swing of things.”