Teary Naomi Osaka Reveals Taking a Break From Tennis After US Open 2021 Loss

Published 09/03/2021, 11:42 PM EDT
Aug 30, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Naomi Osaka of Japan reacts against Marie Bouzkova of Czech Republic in the first round on day one of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports


Day 5 of the US Open came with twice as much drama, following one too many eventful outings. Headlining the action tonight was defending champion Naomi Osaka as she took on Canadian youngster Leylah Fernandez. With the two athletes going for the win, sparks went flying across New York.

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Defending champion Naomi Osaka was the undoubted favorite going into her third-round clash. However, even as the fans gave her a roaring welcome, she exited the court in disparity. The once homegirl crowd had suddenly become a Leylah fanbase, courtesy of the 18-year-old’s fantastic performance. Causing a major upset in the tournament, she knocked out the World No. 3 in a thrilling 3-setter.

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Disgruntled, Naomi walked out of the court, unsure of when she would next return. She opened up about the same in her post-match press conference.

The future is in doubt

2021 has not been Naomi’s year entirely. Notably, surrounded by controversy, and an unprecedented dip in form, the 4-time major champion has struggled on the court. In a similar display, she failed to see past her Canadian opponent, despite being the favorite of the two. Naturally, her poor performance raised many doubts, with Naomi questioning herself too.

Post her match, she opened up on her feelings and said, “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 further added. As she battled past tears, uncertain about a return now, fans wonder where has it all gone wrong for the Japanese sensation.

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

What has happened to Naomi Osaka?

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The generational talent kick-started her 2021 season in exuberant fashion. Living up to her caliber, she won the Australian Open. However, ever since her triumph in Melbourne, it’s all gone downhill for Naomi Osaka. Riddled with controversies, she’s been at the heart of the news, not for the reasons she’d like, however.

Sep 3, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Naomi Osaka of Japan hits to Leylah Fernandez of Canada on day five of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Following a tiff with the media at the Roland Garros, Naomi withdrew from the French Open. Despite playing in the form of her life, she opted for a break from the sport, citing mental health reasons. Post an almost 2-month long sabbatical, the Japanese international did return to the court. Unfortunately, she has failed to put on a notable performance since.

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From the 2020 Tokyo Olympics to the events building up to the US Open, nothing seems to have gone her way. Now, bowing out of a tournament where she has such a history, fans wonder, what’s next for Naomi Osaka?

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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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