Is Naomi Osaka retiring? Tennis pro doesn't know when she'll play next match: 'Sorry'

'I guess we're all dealing with stuff, I know I'm dealing with some stuff,' Naomi Osaka said about her mental state, which is affecting her game


                            Is Naomi Osaka retiring? Tennis pro doesn't know when she'll play next match: 'Sorry'
Naomi Osaka of Team on day four of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Tennis Park on July 27, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Naomi Osaka, the third-ranked women’s tennis player, said she planned to take a break from the game after losing her third round match in the US Open, to 18-year-old rival Leylah Fernandez at Flushing Meadows.  

Osaka's game was weak, still not back to its best following her recent absence due to mental health. The score was 5-7 7-6 (2) 6-4. The Japanese was playing her first grand slam since pulling out of the French Open and Wimbledon. "I think I'm going to take a break from playing for a while," Osaka said in her post-match press conference after losing to Fernandez. "I guess we're all dealing with stuff, I know I'm dealing with some stuff," Osaka said. 

READ MORE

Naomi Osaka tears up over reporter's 'aggressively toned question', fans say 'leave her alone'

Tokyo Olympics: Naomi Osaka trolled as 'one-hit wonder' as Marketa Vondrousova beats her

Holding back tears in her post-match press conference, she said, "This is very hard to articulate. Basically I feel like I'm kind of at this point where I'm trying to figure out what I want to do, and I honestly 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. How do I go around saying this? I feel like for me recently when I win, I don't feel happy. I feel more like a relief. And then when I lose, I feel very sad. I don't think that's normal." She added, "I didn't really want to cry, but basically I feel like… I'm kinda at this point where I'm trying to figure out what I want to do and honestly don't know when I'm going to play my next tennis match."

When asked what she thought caused the defeat, Osaka said, "I don't think it was her serve because I've been able to return pretty well against people that served better. I don't think it's the occasion because I've been in this situation before."

"I guess we're all dealing with some stuff, but I know that I'm dealing with some stuff," she said about her own mental state, which affected her game. Earlier this year, Osaka quit the French Open after disagreeing with tournament officials about participating in mandatory press conferences. She cited her struggle with depression and social anxiety disorder, adding that the engagements exacerbate her condition. 



 



 

On social media, many are talking about Osaka's game, and her future in tennis. "Naomi Osaka expressed her frustration with some racket smashing as the second-set tiebreak got away from her #USOpen" one user noted. In the accompanying video, one can see Osaka slam her racket on two occasions during the game. Another user noted, "see the way she expected leylah to stop & wait for her to walk past? like she kept walking w/out even slowing down. when those things happen usually both people will stop or stutter step to look considerate. not osaka. she didnt break stride. like its her world & you need to wait"

Piers Morgan was one of those who also criticised her. "People got very upset when I suggested Naomi Osaka may be a spoiled brat. Here she is repeatedly smashing up rackets as she loses in the US Open. Then she cried again, and threatened to quit again. If a male tennis player behaved like this, we'd call him.... a spoiled brat."



 



 



 

 

But most users were supportive. "Right call - all for her playing when she is ready, but she clearly isn’t in the right mental state (or physical) right now," one said. Another added, "This is the best thing she can do for herself. #selfcare it should make her happy, that it isn’t must be frightening. :-/"



 



 

Another noted, "Possible we just saw the last of Naomi Osaka for a long time. Got very emotional in her post game press conference, said she needs a break from tennis because it no longer brings her joy. Don’t know when she’ll play again. Big moment."



 

If you have a news scoop or an interesting story for us, please reach out at (323) 421-7514