Naomi Osaka sobs her way out of a news conference at the Cincinnati Open.
Due to mental health issues, the 23-year-old Japanese star declined to attend press conferences at the French Open in May.
Naomi Osaka, a Japanese tennis player, broke down in tears at her first news conference since withdrawing from the French Open in May.
The 23-year-old withdrew from the event after deciding not to conduct press conferences in Paris to help her mental health. She also skipped Wimbledon and only returned from the Tokyo Olympics, where she lit the Olympic torch, after a hiatus.
On her return to press conference responsibilities at the Cincinnati Open, though, Cincinnati Enquirer writer Paul Daugherty questioned Osaka about how she balances the advantages of a high media presence without speaking to the press.
Before answering the question, the Japanese player requested clarification,
but as soon as she asked another tennis-related question, she started to weep.
Osaka stepped out of the news conference room for a moment, but returned later to finish it.
The 23-year-old thought it was necessary to forgo media responsibilities at the French Open in order to protect herself.
“It seemed like something I needed to accomplish for myself,” says the author. I felt like I’d cooped up in my home for a couple of weeks and was hesitant to go out.
“Going to the Olympics and having other athletes come up to me and express how happy they were that I accomplished what I did was the greatest eye-opener.”
Osaka will now focus on preparing for the US Open, which begins on August 30.
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