Naomi Osaka: The 23-year-old Japanese player refused to attend press conferences at the French Open in May due to mental health issues.
Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka sheds tears at her first press conference after pulling out of the French Open in May.
The 23-year-old decided not to hold press conferences in Paris to help her mental health and eventually withdrew from the event. She also lost Wimbledon and returned only after a break at the Tokyo Olympics, where she lit the Olympic torch.
However, after returning to press conference duties at the Cincinnati Open, Cincinnati Inquire columnist Paul Dougherty was asked how Naomi Osaka balanced the benefits of a larger media profile without speaking to the media.
The Japanese player asked for an explanation about the question before answering, but as soon as she asked another tennis-related question, she started crying.
Naomi Osaka briefly walked out of the press conference room but returned later to finish it.
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The 23-year-old felt that skipping media duties at the French Open was something he had to do to protect himself.
“I felt like I needed to do something for myself. I felt trapped in my house for two weeks and was a little embarrassed to go out.
“The biggest eye opener is going to the Olympics and other athletes coming to me and saying they’re very happy with the work I did.”
Naomi Osaka now looks to be ready to compete in the US Open, which starts on August 30th.