Naomi Osaka was feeling mixed emotions in the aftermath of her return to the Grand Slam stage.

The former World No.1 was beaten in Monday night's opening round of the Australian Open by No.16 seed Caroline Garcia of France, 6-4, 7-6(2). Osaka never created a break point on Garcia's serve throughout the entirety of the 1-hour, 26-minute encounter on Rod Laver Arena, but after the match, took solace in the fact that she was able to flirt with the form that took her to four major titles previously -- including two on Laver -- in her first major match since becoming a mother last year. 

"It's weird because I felt like when I was in L.A. training, I was really worried that I wasn't going to be able to keep up with any of the girls that I played in my matches," Osaka said. "Coming here ... I feel positive that I'm able to play, I'm at least able to challenge them.

"The competitive in me is really frustrated that I'm not winning these matches, of course. So I wouldn't say, like, this comeback is how I thought because I'm delusional enough to think I could have won the tournament. I think my delusion is what allows me to win the tournaments."

Osaka's return to competition in Australia ends with a 1-2 record, with her losses coming to former Top 10 players in the form of Garcia in Melbourne and Karolina Pliskova in Brisbane. Both matches were, ultimately, decided by slim margins, and Osaka said she's choosing to focus on the positive takeaways. 

She said embraced an optimistic outlook on life while off the tour on maternity leave.

"I have to tell myself, 'Hey, like six months ago you were pregnant,' stuff like that. Of course, like, there's a voice in my head that is, 'Who are you to think you can come back and immediately start winning matches?'" she said. 

"I don't know. I kind of always expect myself to stand a chance anyways. So I guess just being nicer to myself is like a key thing that I learned in my time away.

"I got a video of someone saying, 'Shai says good luck.' It was really cute. It made me happy and motivated, but at the same time a little frustrated because I felt like I should do better with the time I had away from her."

Looking ahead, Osaka reiterated her commitment to playing a full Hologic WTA Tour schedule in 2024, including Dubai, Indian Wells and Miami before embarking on the clay-court swing.