'Grow up': Uproar as Naomi Osaka cries AGAIN after being heckled at Indian Wells Open

The former world number one was taunted during the first set by an unidentified woman in the crowd yelling, 'Naomi, you suck!'


                            'Grow up': Uproar as Naomi Osaka cries AGAIN after being heckled at Indian Wells Open
Naomi Osaka broke down during the BNPP Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on March 12, 2022, in Indian Wells, California (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Japanese Tennis sensation Naomi Osaka sparked an uproar on social media after she was brought to tears by a heckler during her 6-0 6-4 defeat by Veronika Kudermetova at Indian Wells on Saturday, March 12.

The former world number one was taunted during the first set by an unidentified woman in the crowd yelling, "Naomi, you suck!" Following her loss, Osaka said being heckled reminded her of the verbal abuse the Williams sisters faced at the same tournament in 2001. The 24-year-old was playing her third event since taking a break last September.

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The insult which came during the first set was met with jeers from fellow spectators and appeared to hurt Osaka as she trailed 0-3 against Kudermetova. She subsequently pleaded with the chair umpire to speak with the crowd. “Can I borrow your microphone?” Osaka asked. “I just want to say something. I’m not going to curse. I don’t curse. It’s just weighing on my heart.”



 

 

Tournament officials, however, did not permit her to use the microphone. They vowed to eject the heckler if the match was interrupted a second time. Osaka went on to lose the first set 6-0 to Kudermetova. She would then lose the next set 6-4 and end her run in the Round of 64 at the California-based tournament, the New York Post reported. “I feel like I’ve cried enough on camera,” Osaka said after gaining access to a microphone following the match. “I’ve gotten heckled before. It really didn’t bother me. But heckled here, I watched a video of Venus and Serena getting heckled here, and if you’ve never watched it, you should watch it. I don’t know why, but it went to my head.”



 

 

The four-time Grand Slam singles champion sparked quite the uproar on social media. Some criticized her for crying over a heckler and told her to "grow up."

"Seems like every time Naomi Osaka loses there’s a video of her crying. Maybe she should stop playing tennis and do something else?" one tweeted.

"I honestly can’t take this!! Naomi Osaka is crying after the match saying she got heckled!!! Someone yelled you suck! Try playing right field at Yankee Stadium for the away team!! The bleacher creatures yell they wanna kill you and your family! Grow up, Naomi!! #IndianWellsMasters," another wrote.

"There are two kinds of athletes: the kind who take an opposition’s heckles and channels them into motivation to play better and then there’s Naomi Osaka. Tonight she was heckled with a simple “you suck.” So naturally, she broke down crying & lost. Never seen that before," someone else added.
 
 



 

 



 

 



 

 

Meanwhile, others defended Osaka and branded the criticism as "racial".

"Stop bullying black women in sports. Y’all tried it with the Williams sisters. Now with her. None of their haters can hold a candle to them or Naomi Osaka. Stop bullying this talented young lady... it’s tasteless #Naomi," a tweet read.

"I feel like Naomi Osaka being targeted for crying is racial. Aryna Sabalenka threw her racket in 2021 after losing to Williams. Williams smashed her racket after losing to Osaka in 2018 and this racist cartoon was made. In short black women can’t feel emotions without criticism," another wrote, sharing a satirical caricature of Williams smashing her racket.

"Naomi Osaka crying doesn't she's too sensitive, doesn't mean she needs to see a shrink and doesn't mean any of the other shit I'm seeing people say. It means she's a human being with feelings!! The person who shouted that at her should be banned for life!! #IndianWells #BNPPO22," another offered.
 



 

 



 

 



 

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