Tennis: Naomi Osaka’s tears, brought to duty by a spectator at the Indian Wells . tournament

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Japan’s player, suffering from anxiety problems, failed to mobilize to defend against Russia’s Veronika Kudermetova. The former world number 1 was eliminated in the second round of the WTA 1000.

Four words were uttered from the stands for the Indian Wells tennis tournament (California, United States), then Naomi Osaka mourned. Broken early on this Saturday 12 March, by Russia’s Veronika Kudermetova, the Japanese (ranked 78 in the world ) was attacked by a spectator in the third game of the first set: “Naomi, you suck! “.

Tears that he couldn’t hold back were flowing, after he complained about his behavior to the officers. Without consequence to the audience, as sometimes happens in the NBA, North America’s elite basketball championship, fans are ejected from the room for their verbal provocation or aggressive behavior.

Plagued by anxiety issues, Naomi Osaka failed to remobilize: knocked out 6-0, 6-4 by her opponent that day, the former world number 1 was knocked out in the second round of WTA 1000 Indian Wells. Especially since his opponent today was able to keep his cool despite the circumstances, even as Japan, fueled by pride that we rarely see in such trouble, seem to be back in the game. But Naomi Osaka eventually lost serve in the seventh game of the second set and the Russian didn’t waste her chance to end it.

A mockery of the Williams family
At the end of the meeting, the Japanese was able to pick up the microphone and express himself on the field, again with palpable emotion, and thunderous applause:

“To be honest, I feel like I’ve been booed before, it doesn’t really bother me. But, I watched a video of Venus and Serena [Williams] being booed here. If you haven’t seen it, you must watch it. »

During the final which the youngest Serena won against Belgian Kim Clijsters in 2001, Venus and their father Richard were excessively insulted while taking their place in the stands and during the match. The questionable: the withdrawal of the oldest, the day before, minutes before the start of the semi-final between the two Americans, the late announcement of his retirement and the rumor that it was a comfort injury decided by their father and coach. As a result, both champions refused to play at Indian Wells for fourteen years.

“I don’t know why, but it just popped into my head and stuck… I tried not to cry. I just need to say thank you and congratulations,” concluded Naomi Osaka, this time to Veronika Kudermetova.

” As good as possible ”
In September 2021, after being knocked out prematurely in the third round of the US Open where he was the reigning champion, against young Canadian Leylah Fernandez, the Japanese burst into tears at a press conference. Previously, he had withdrew during the tournament at Roland-Garros, after refusing to answer questions from the media, revealing he had experienced “several episodes of depression”.

He had missed Wimbledon, before returning home to the Tokyo Games, where he lit the Olympic cauldron and where his hopes were high. But he failed to collect a gold medal, being eliminated in the round of 16.

After a three-month break, following the US Open, Naomi Osaka assured that she was feeling “as good as she could be” at the start of the Australian Open, where she also defended her title but she couldn’t get past it. third round. While he still appears very psychologically fragile, questions arise again about what his future will be in court.

Six months after her tears of sorrow in front of the press at the US Open, Naomi Osaka fell again on Saturday, this time in the middle of a match at Indian Wells and after being knocked out. in the second half, hurt by the insults spoken in the audience.

At the start of the year for her return to competition in Australia after a very difficult year in 2021 on a psychological level, the 24-year-old young woman, plagued by recurring mental anxiety issues, said she “just wanted to feel good” in Court.

Saturday, in the California desert where he until now has almost only fond memories – specifically his first title in 2018 – he fell short of expectations. And defeat, eventually conceding 6-0, 6-4 against Russia’s Veronika Kudermetova, was not the main reason.

These words, “Naomi you suck!”, were uttered by a spectator in the 3rd game in the first inning, which made him flinch. The Japanese couldn’t hide his sadness by sitting in his chair to change sides.

She couldn’t hold back tears after complaining about her behavior to officials. With no consequence to the person who uttered these words, it sometimes happens in the NBA that fans are kicked out of the roomand because of their verbal provocation or aggressive behavior.

Williams’ memory
Osaka kept her eyes foggy for the rest of the match. He struggled more to keep playing than hoped for a very hypothetical win, given his obvious discomfort in midfield. Especially since Kudermetova was able to keep her cool despite the circumstances, even as her opponent, fueled by pride that we rarely see in such trouble, seemed to be back in the game.

Osaka finally lost her serve in the 7th game of the second set and the Russian did not waste her chance to end it.

The latter looked utterly embarrassed at the microphone in court, praising Japan’s combat prowess.

And completely unexpectedly, Osaka agreed to play a word game for the ending. A very tough exercise that brought new tears to her cheeks.

“To be honest, I feel like I’ve been booed before, it doesn’t really bother me much. But, I watched a video of Venus and Serena (Williams) being booed here. If you haven’t seen it, you should see it,” he said painfully between sobs. .

For 14 years the two champions refused to return to play in this tournament.

“I try not to cry”
I just had to say thank you and congratulations,” she concluded, nodding to Kudermetova.

In September, after a premature elimination in the third round of the US Open, where she became the defending champion, against Canadian youth Leylah Fernandez, Osaka burst into tears at a press conference.

Previously, he had withdrew during the tournament at Roland-Garros, after refusing to answer questions from the media, revealing he had anxiety problems, characterized by “several episodes of depression”.

He had missed Wimbledon, before returning home to the Tokyo Games, where he lit the Olympic cauldron and where his hopes were high. But he failed to collect a gold medal, being eliminated in the round of 16.

After a three-month break, following the US Open, Osaka said she was feeling “as good as she could be” at the start of the Australian Open, where she also defended her title there but where she couldn’t leave. through the 3rd round.

Dropping back down to 78th in the world rankings, still very fragile psychologically, the question arises again about what his future will be on the pitch.