May 30, 2018 / 1:32 PM / 5 months ago

Tennis: Osaka lost in her virtual world

PARIS (Reuters) - The life of a professional athlete can seem a dream, but these days Naomi Osaka is happy to be lost in her virtual world.

May 28, 2018, Paris, France; Naomi Osaka (JPN) during her match against Sophia Kenin (USA) on day two of the 2018 French Open at Roland Garros. Mandatory Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

The Japanese 20-year-old scooted into the French Open third round on Wednesday with a quick-fire 6-4 7-5 win over Zarina Dyas before offering a glimpse into her life.

“Well, I’m only here if I have to be, to be honest,” she said, when asked how much time she spends in the picturesque grounds of Roland Garros in the French capital.

“Like, if I have a match or something and just to eat lunch. Before, when I was younger, I used to love walking around and just experiencing the atmosphere. But now I just sort of think of this as my job, so it’s like clocking in and clocking out.

May 28, 2018, Paris, France; Naomi Osaka (JPN) in action during her match against Sophia Kenin (USA) on day two of the 2018 French Open at Roland Garros. Mandatory Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

“(I’m) hoping to spend as little time as possible...”

In fact the 21st seed prefers to spend time in her hotel room in a virtual world, and is traveling with her Sony Playstation games console.

“For me, it’s just sometimes I’m really bored in my room, and I feel like I really want to play a game or something, so that’s why I started bringing it,” she said.

“And now it’s sort of consumed my time a little bit because literally, if I have 30 minutes, then I’ll just sit there, and I might be a little bit late.

“Like, I’ll spend 35 minutes, and then I’m like, ‘Oh, my God. It’s 30 minutes past’, and then I have to rush out the door. So if I’m ever late to anything, you know why...”

Reporting by Ken Ferris

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