Osaka hopes to transfer mum skills on to court

Naomi Osaka laughs during French Open practice
Naomi Osaka goes into the French Open having reached the last 16 at the Italian Open [Getty Images]

Four-time major champion Naomi Osaka says she is "learning a lot of lessons" from being a mum and hopes these skills can lead to French Open success.

The 26-year-old Japanese player has been reunited with her 10-month-old daughter Shai in Paris after spending five weeks apart during the European clay-court swing.

Osaka agreed when asked if being a good clay-court player required similar skills - patience, resilience and adaptability - to being a mother.

"That's a funny question, but I do think mums do have to be all of those things," said the former world number one.

"There are people that are naturally like that anyway.

"But for me, I am learning a lot of lessons through motherhood, and I hope that I can remember to apply them on the tennis court."

On being reunited with Shai, she added: "Being away from her was really tough, but I called her every day.

"I saw how well she was doing and I saw how happy she was, so that made me happy too.

"Yesterday she walked for the first time, so I was really happy about that. It's really cool to have her here."

Each of Osaka's major triumphs have come on hard courts - at the US Open in 2018 and 2020, and the Australian Open in 2019 and 2021.

Osaka has never been past the last 32 on the Roland Garros clay.

Having returned from maternity leave in January, Osaka is ranked 134th in the world and reached the last 16 on the clay at the Italian Open last week.

Murray to play in night session on day one

Osaka will open the tournament in Sunday's first match on Court Philippe Chatrier at 11:00 BST, with Andy Murray picked to play in the primetime night session.

Britain's Murray, who is expected to be playing at Roland Garros for the final time, takes on fellow veteran Stan Wawrinka on Chatrier not before 19:15 BST.

Jack Draper is the other British player in action, starting his campaign against Dutch qualifier Jesper de Jong about 12:00 BST.

Another highlight on the first day includes Wimbledon champion Carlos Alcaraz playing American JJ Wolf on Chatrier after Osaka's match.