Osaka, who revealed mental health struggles and a loss in confidence since she dropped out of the French Open last May, waxed philosophical after dropping a third-set tiebreaker to the ecstatic Anisimova.
“I fought for every point. I can’t be sad about that,” Osaka said in a press conference afterward. “I’m not God. I can’t win every match. … I grew a lot in this match. The last match that I played in New York I think I had a completely different attitude.”
Osaka was referring to a third-round defeat at the U.S. Open in September, in which the Japanese star tearfully said she was taking an indefinite hiatus. Winning made her feel relief and losing made her sad, she said.
The four-time Grand Slam singles winner had previously shared her problems with anxiety, and said probing questions from the media made it worse.
Her mindset appeared more positive this time around.
“Of course I lost, but I’m happy with how it went. I just want to go into this year knowing that I’ll play the whole year and I’ll just have the greatest attitude ever,” the former No. 1 said.
Anisimova, who hails from New Jersey, was overcome after the match.