Naomi Osaka has described the period since her Australian Open triumph as "the worst months of my life", but the former world number one says she is now looking to the future with optimism.
After claiming her maiden grand slam title in stunning fashion at last year's US Open, Osaka also triumphed in Melbourne in January, sealing top spot in the WTA rankings as a result.
However, the Japanese has since struggled, conceding her number-one ranking to French Open winner Ashleigh Barty and losing in the first round at Wimbledon last month.
In a Twitter post on Thursday, ahead of her return to competitive action at next week's Rogers Cup, Osaka spoke openly about how tough the last few months have been, stating: "I probably haven't had fun playing tennis since Australia.
"[I'm] leaving to Toronto tomorrow and I wanted to get some things off my chest before the hard court swing begins.
"The last few months have been really rough for me tennis wise, but thankfully I'm surrounded by people I love and who love me back [hopefully hahaha].
"In that regard I'm very thankful for them because whenever things go wrong I blame myself 100 per cent, I have a tendency to shut down because I don't want to burden anyone with my thoughts or problems but they taught me to trust them and not take everything on by myself.
"Unexpectedly though the worst months of my life have also had some of the best moments 'cause I've met new people, and been able to do things that I've never even considered doing before.
"That being said I can honestly reflect and say I probably haven't had fun playing tennis since Australia and I'm finally coming to terms with that while relearning that fun feeling.
"I've put so much weight on the results of my matches instead of learning from them which is what I 'normally' do.
"Having this time to reflect and think [from losing in the 1st round lololol], I've learned a lot about myself and I feel like I grew so much as a person in this past year[s] so I'm really excited what the future looks like on and off the court.
"See you in the US swing - Update finished."