Naomi Osaka is weighing an indefinite break from tennis after a stunning third-round loss to 18-year-old Leylah Fernandez of Canada at the U.S. Open on Friday night.
Osaka, who had her 16-match winning streak at majors snapped, was emotional at the post-match press conference and opened up about the emotional toll the game has had on her in recent months. Osaka previously withdrew from the French Open and Wimbledon to focus on her mental health.
“I feel like for me recently, like when I win I don’t feel happy. I feel more like a relief,” she said while fighting back tears. And then when I lose, I feel very sad. I don’t think that’s normal. I didn’t really want to cry, but basically, I feel like … I’m kind of at this point where I’m trying to figure out what I want to do, and honestly I don’t know when I’m going to play my next tennis match. Sorry.
“I think I’m going to take a break from playing for a while.”
May Naomi Osaka get the happiness she deserves away from being asked about the moments that make her sad. #usopen pic.twitter.com/3lEnTdFTRf
— TWDTV (@TWDTV1) September 4, 2021
During the match, the usually stoic Osaka visibly expressed her frustration by throwing her racket on the court on numerous occasions.
Whenever she is ready to return to the court, hopefully, she will be able to find the joy that the game once brought her.