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Naomi Osaka Breaks Down In Tears During Press Conference

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Naomi Osaka Breaks Down In Tears During Press Conference

Naomi Osaka broke down in tears during her first press conference in almost three months. Watch what happened here:

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The 23-year-old tennis star was participating in her first press conference since withdrawing from the French Open for mental health reasons.

However, she had to leave to compose herself - before returning to answer one further question in English and several in Japanese.

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The four-time grand slam champion became tearful after Cincinnati Enquirer columnist Paul Daugherty asked how she balanced the benefits of a big media profile with not talking to the press.

Osaka - who has received a bye (automatic advancement) into Cincinnati's Western and Southern Open second round - said: "That's interesting: I would say the occasion, when to do the press conferences is what I feel is the most difficult.

"I'm actually very interested in that point of view. For me I feel this is something I can't really speak for everybody, I can only speak for myself.

"But ever since I was younger, I've had a lot of media interest on me, and I think it's because of my background as well as how I play. Because in the first place I'm a tennis player, which is why a lot of people are interested in me.

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"So I would say in that regard I'm quite different to a lot of people, and I can't really help that there are some things I tweet or say that create a lot of news articles or things like that.

"But I would also say, I'm not really sure how to balance it too, I'm figuring it out at the same time as you are, I would say."

It was Osaka's first press conference in months. Credit: PA
It was Osaka's first press conference in months. Credit: PA

Osaka then cried as the next question was asked, and her agent Stuart Duguid subsequently condemned columnist Daugherty over his line of questioning.

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He told Reuters: "The bully at the Cincinnati Enquirer is the epitome of why player/media relations are so fraught right now.

"Everyone on that Zoom will agree that his tone was all wrong and his sole purpose was to intimidate. Really appalling behaviour.

"And this insinuation that Naomi owes her off-court success to the media is a myth - don't be so self-indulgent."

In an article, Daugherty speculated that 'maybe she didn't understand the question or maybe it made her uncomfortable'.

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He added that her answer was 'honest, thoughtful... and unlike any answer I've ever gotten in 34 years covering sports in Cincinnati'.


Osaka pulled out of Roland Garros on 31 May after she was threatened with expulsion over her refusal to fulfil media duties.

She then missed Wimbledon, but returned to action for the Olympics in her native Japan, where she was eliminated in the third round.

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Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: SPORT, World News

Jake Massey
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