May 30, 2018 / 1:32 PM / 19 days 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.

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

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

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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