Image Courtesy: Naomi Osaka
Naomi Osaka, a professional tennis star, has a challenging summer. After withdrawing from various competitions due to mental health issues, she competed in the Olympic Games in Tokyo and, most recently, at the 2021 U.S. Open. But after losing her composure and losing the match, she announced that she was taking a break from the game at a press conference. “I honestly don’t know when I will be playing my next tennis game,” she said, trying to avoid tears. Read on to find out what Naomi Osaka has to say about retiring from tennis and why her future seems uncertain.
At the U.S. Open, Naomi Osaka lost her match in shock.
Osaka faced Canadian Leila Fernandez in the third round of the U.S. Open on Friday night. When Osaka was the current champion and ranked No. 3 in the U.S. Open, he lost to the 73rd-ranked 18-year-old Fernandez, who has yet to compete in a Grand Slam. But not only did Osaka lose the match at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York, but she also threw her racket to the ground, angrily threw it, and threw a tennis ball into crowded places, breaking the rules.
Osaka broke down in tears in a post-defeat press conference and said she did not know when she would play tennis again.
Osaka has focused on her athletic prowess and revealed that the pressure of talking to media members often causes her mental anguish. But after losing the U.S. Open, she spoke honestly about how she felt at the press conference. When asked about her character’s behavior, she said, “I’m sorry about that. I’m not sure why. I’m told to calm down, but sometimes I feel like something is boiling over. In general, I feel like I like challenges. But lately, I’m worried about things not happening. I feel like you can feel it. I was kind of like a little kid. “After hearing the final question at the press conference, Osaka looked at his agent and told him that he wanted to tell the media about what they had personally discussed in the stadium hall after the fantastic performance.
“Recently, I felt like I wasn’t happy when I won. I was relieved,” Osaka said. “And then when I lose, I feel great sadness. I think it’s not normal.” As she struggled to find her words, she burst into tears and said, “I don’t want to cry.” However, Osaka said she wanted to end it. “I’m kind of feeling like I’m trying to figure out what to do, and I don’t know when I’ll be playing my next tennis game next time,” she said. “But I think I’ll take a break from playing for a while.” As tears began to flow from her eyes, the innovator ended the press conference. Before leaving the Osaka microphone, he raised two thumbs and tried to smile.
Osaka began talking openly about her mental health issues earlier this year.
This is not the first time in the last few months that Osaka has taken a break. Shortly before the start of the 2021 French Open in June. She told CNN that she would not be attending any press conferences that are a mandatory part of the competition. The Guardian also reported that she was fined $ 15,000 and threatened with expulsion. And soon decided to withdraw from the competition. “I think the best thing about the tournament right now is that I’m leaving to get everyone’s attention on the tennis game in Paris, which is good for the rest of the players and my well-being,” Osaka said in a news release on social media. “I never want to be distracted and admit that my time is not right and that my message could be clearer.”
She added: “The truth is, I have been suffering from depression for a long time since the 2018 U.S. Open, and it was challenging for me to cope with it. Anyone who knows me knows that I am an insider, and anyone who has seen me at tournaments seems to be wearing headphones that help alleviate my social anxiety. Although tennis newspapers have always been kind to me (especially since I want to apologize to all the cool journalists who may have hurt me), I am not a natural public speaker and cause a great deal of stress before speaking to the world media.
After a few leaks, it was announced that she would not be competing at Wimbledon. However, Osaka returned to the sport in 2020 after attending the Olympic Games in her native Japan. She lit a pumpkin at the opening ceremony but did not win a medal at the Games.
Earlier this week, Osaka posted a heartfelt message about overcoming her thoughts of being sick enough.
Ever since Osaka withdrew from the French Open and Wimbledon, conversations about the player’s mental fitness have been bubbling up. Even gymnast Simon Byles spoke openly about her mental health journey when Osaka withdrew from several Olympic events in Tokyo. “She talks about mental health, and I think it’s essential for athletes to prioritize their mental health,” Byle told Entertainment Tonight in Osaka on August 18. Later, before she competed in the U.S. Open, Osaka took to Instagram to post a note about her struggles with the feeling of “never good.” Biles told Entertainment Tonight in Osaka on August 18.
“Recently, I have been asking myself why I feel, and I understand one reason for that, internally I think I was never good,” she wrote on August 29, the day before her first match at the U.S. Open. She added, “I know some people in the past have spoken humbly to me, but I’m extremely humbled if I treat it that way. Every time a new opportunity arises, my first thought is, ‘Why me?’ I think what I am trying to say is that I am trying to celebrate my achievements more; I think we should all do it. Didn’t you get up in the morning and do something late?
Have you realized something in the workplace that has been bothering you for a long time? Your life is your own, and you should not judge yourself by the standards of others.” She concluded her heartfelt message by saying: “I know I give my heart to everything I can, and some people apologize if that is not enough, but I can no longer hold out those hopes. When I see everything that happens in the world, I feel like waking up in the morning is a victory.”
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