Osaka struggled for rhythm and was dominated by Sorribes Tormo, who mixed her game up to devastating effect.
In her first tournament on clay since the 2021 French Open, Osaka looked uncomfortable throughout and appeared to struggle with a leg injury during a disappointing second set display.
“Honestly, I have had it before, like maybe two years ago I think after Miami or something,” she said of the pain in her achilles.
“But I can’t imagine that it will be a huge problem unless something significant happens, but I think for right now, just learning how to move forward with everything.”
The 24-year-old said she wanted to push through the pain and took inspiration from Michael Jordan.
“For me, honestly, I don’t want to retire because of injury again in my career,” she explained.
“Because you know, like sometimes I think about the Michael Jordan ‘Flu Game’. I’m like, ‘I should be like that too’.
“There is always caution in your mind, but for me, I want to see what happens if I push through it.
“I want to know the type of – it’s not relief – but like the feeling that I would have if I were to ever be injured quite badly and still be able to push through the match.”