The 23-year-old hasn’t played much competitive tennis in recent months after retiring from Roland Garros earlier this year citing mental health issues.
The Cincinnati tournament was his first since losing in the third round of the Tokyo Olympics.
“I thought, for me, I felt a little hesitant, and normally I don’t feel that way,” Osaka told reporters after the 3-6 6-3 6-3 loss.
“Of course, I put myself in that position by choosing not to play so many tournaments, so, yeah, I just feel more comfortable with that, I feel more confident in myself too, because I I have the impression that there were times when I doubted myself.
“I also thought that my performance in Tokyo also stuck a bit on my mind because I felt like I was being too aggressive there.”
It comes as the four-time Grand Slam champion continues to get back into the sport after taking a hiatus to protect her sanity.
After retiring from Roland Garros, she revealed that she suffered from anxiety and bouts of depression and found it difficult to speak to the media during tournaments.
“I felt like I learned a lot from this game today, and if there is anything to take away from that, I did my best throughout the game to be able to sleep at night.” , she added.
Osaka will be hoping to regain her form in time for the US Open on August 30, where she is a two-time champion.
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