“Leave Her Alone”: American Sprinter and Tennis Great Back Naomi Osaka After US Open 2021 Defeat

Published 09/04/2021, 1:45 PM EDT
Aug 30, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Naomi Osaka of Japan prepares to play Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic on day one of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports


The world watched in shock as defending champion Naomi Osaka bowed out of the US Open 2021. Headlining an eventful day 5 at the Flushing meadows, the World No. 3 took on Canadian youngster Leylah Fernandez. As fans geared up to watch the two WTA stars battle it out on-court, an entertaining evening was on the cards.

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Delivering beyond its expectations, the clash of the two youngsters had fans on the edge of their seats. Notably, the crowd that once backed the 2-time US Open champion now roared at every shot that left the Canadian’s racquet. Turning heads with her stellar talent and incredible performance, Leylah beat Naomi Osaka in a 3-set thriller.

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However, more worrisome than her performance was Naomi’s shocking revelation post her game. Following yet another early exit, the World No. 3 announced that she would be taking a break from tennis. Naturally, her decision was received with mixed emotions across the sporting world. Opening up on the same now are American sprinter and former tennis player Sha’Carri Richardson and James Blake.

“We want to see you happy”- James Blake

Undoubtedly, Naomi was distraught with her shocking defeat. Speaking in her post-match press conference, she announced that she would take yet another break. However, this time, she gave no signs of a return.

Retired tennis professional, James Blake recently took to Twitter, sending a message to the disgruntled star. He said,Please do what is best for you, Naomi Osaka. We want to see your extraordinary tennis again, but more importantly, we want to see you happy.”

Not just tennis players but entities from other sports as well spoke out in favor of Naomi. Notably, American sprinter Sha’carri Richardson took to her Instagram story, lashing out at critics, demanding they give her some professional space. Sharing an article on her defeat, he said, “Leave her alone. Doing what[‘s] best for herself, in front of the world which is a cruel place for realest people.”

Expressing her emotions post her loss, Naomi had a thing or two to say. “I feel like when I win I don’t feel happy, I feel relief. And when I lose I feel very sad. And I don’t think that’s normal. I’m kinda at a point where I’m trying to figure out what I want to do and honestly don’t know when I’m going to play my next tennis match,” she revealed.

Watch this story: Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams, and Others Interacting With Fans at US Open

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A disappointing season for Naomi Osaka

It’s not quite been a vintage season for the Japanese international. Despite her successful campaign at the Australian Open, she has struggled both on and off the court. Earlier this year, Naomi grabbed headlines, withdrawing from the Roland Garros, citing mental health concerns. However, even as she returned from her sabbatical, it’s not all been rosy for the 23-year-old.

Aug 30, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Naomi Osaka of Japan enters to play Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic on day one of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

At the heart of controversies, it is safe to say, tennis hasn’t been her top priority. With an unprecedented dip in form and early exits from the Tokyo Olympics and the events in the build-up to the US Open, the abrupt present times ensure a rather uncertain future. Sadly, the question, ‘What’s next for Naomi Osaka?’ remains something even the Japanese international knows not much about at the moment.

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DIVE DEEPER

Naomi Osaka Makes a Rankings Drop Following Shock US Open 2021 Exit

13 days ago

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Melroy Fernandes

280 articles

Melroy Joseph Fernandes is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. A Mass Media graduate, Melroy has been a content writer for the past 6 years, curating stories for several brands, starting from his own. At the age of 17, Melroy began his writing Journey with Team BIB, an event management company for everything Art and Entertainment.

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