US Open: Defending champion Naomi Osaka loses to Leyla Fernandez, plans to take a break from tennis


Two-time champion Naomi Osaka’s defense of the US Open title ended in tears on Friday, as she suffered a 5-7 7-6(2) 6-4 loss to Canadian Leyla Fernandez in the third round, and she told reporters she plans to take a break from the sport.

“I guess I’m kind of at the point where I’m just trying to figure out what I want to do. Honestly, I don’t know when I’m going to play my next tennis match,” She was crying bitterly at the post-match press conference and pulling the visor over her eyes, she said.

“I think I’m going to take a break from playing for a while.”

Playing her first Grand Slam Since crashing out of the French Open earlier this year and revealing her battle with depression, Osaka’s return to Flushing Meadows hasn’t gone as planned, as she inexplicably lost her cool on the court after losing her cool in the second-set tiebreak. Got out of

The third seed flicked his racquet and then threw it twice on the court in despair as Fernandez scored five straight points in the tiebreak in a series of brilliant games.

Osaka received no warnings or code violations and walked out of court between sets, later telling reporters that she struggled to control her emotions.

“I’m really sorry for that,” she said. “I was telling myself to stay calm, but I felt like maybe there was a boil.

“Usually I think I like challenges. But lately when things don’t go my way, I worry a lot, and I feel like you can feel it. I’m really not sure That’s why it happens like it happens now.”

Her troubles continued when the 18-year-old Canadian broke her serve for a kick in the third set, and Osaka hit a ball into the stands in the second game, prompting a warning by the chair umpire.

In the ninth game, Osaka ran through her serve without waiting for the crowd to calm down, as she was unable to create a single break point opportunity in the final set.

A fan favorite, Osaka has been struggling with uneven play since she withdrew from Roland Garros earlier this year amid a public dispute with tournament officials over the required media presence, which she said was affecting her mental health. had a negative effect.

She told fans that she had struggled with depression for years, prompting new discussions about mental health in professional sport.

“How do I get around saying this? I’ve been feeling to me lately, like, I don’t feel happy when I win. I feel kind of relieved. And then when I lose, so do I. I feel very sad.” Osaka said.

“I don’t think it’s normal.”

Meanwhile, Fernandez reached the fourth round of a major for the first time, just days before her 19th birthday. He fired 28 winners in three sets to upset Osaka. Fernandez will next face 2016 champion Angelique Kerber of Germany.


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