“Social anxiety” sufferer Naomi Osaka, who failed to advance past the third round in the Tokyo Olympics for Japan, said, through tears, that she will take a “break for a while” after suffering an upset defeat at the U.S. Open.
The tennis star has dropped out of multiple tournaments in the 2021 season while trying to “overcome” her “social anxiety” being at the top of woman’s tennis, even displaying a media blackout just a few months ago during the French Open.
Outkick reported that Osaka, ranked number three in tennis, was set to face off against Leylah Fernandez, an unranked Canadian tennis player. Osaka had returned to the U.S. open stage to defend her title. The two played in a Friday night match, with Osaka going back and forth on the court, causing several errors.
Osaka lost to Fernandez, 5-7, 7-6 (2), 6-4, giving her a third-round exit at the Open on her return.
(Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
After the defeat, Osaka reportedly tucked her face in her hat and walked off the court before speaking to the press. While speaking to the press, the tennis star said she would be taking a break from the sport.
“Basically, I feel like I’m kind of at this point where I’m trying to figure out what I want to do, and I honestly don’t know when I’m going to play my next tennis match,” said Osaka while crying. “But… I think I’m going to take a break from playing for a while.”
After finishing her answer, she wiped the tears from her face and put her mask on:
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Fernandez said during her post-interview, “I wasn’t really focused on Naomi.” But, she added, “Having the crowd there supporting me and backing me up after every point, it’s amazing. It gave me the energy to keep fighting, to keep working and keep running for those balls that she hit.”
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