Naomi Osaka Suffers Another Defeat

Tennis superstar Naomi Osaka is out of the US Open. On Friday night, September 3, the 23-year-old Japanese athlete suffered a 5-7, 7-6, 6-4 loss to Leylah Fernandez.

More than a month after her shocking loss during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Naomi Osaka suffered another defeat. The four-time Grand Slam singles champion lost in the third round at the US Open.

Photo from Naomi Osaka's Instagram

Filipino-Canadian tennis player Leylah Fernandez, who bagged her first WTA Tour singles title at the 2021 Monterrey Open, beat Osaka three days before her 19th birthday.

In a press conference following the match, an emotional Osaka said she was still figuring out when to compete next. She said:

"I honestly don't know when I'm going to play my next tennis match. I think I'm going to take a break from playing for a while."

The US Open defending champion's frustration was visible during her match against Fernandez at Arthur Ashe Stadium, at one point smashing her racket on the court.

Osaka, who has been open about her mental health struggles, did not conceal her disappointment over her loss. She said that she felt very sad, adding that every time she wins, she would feel more relief than happiness. She said:

"I don't think that's normal." 

Back in May, Osaka shocked tennis fans after withdrawing from the French Open ahead of her second-round match. Controversy erupted after she refused to participate in press conferences at Roland Garros.

At the time, she cited the negative impact press conferences have on her mental health. The tournament organizers fined her nonetheless.

She later revealed on Instagram that she had been dealing with depression since her US Open victory in 2018. After the French Open, she also opted not to compete at Wimbledon.

She made her comeback on the court at the Olympic Games, where she represented her home country Japan. The world's largest sporting event kicked off with Osaka lighting The Olympic Cauldron. 

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