Two-time champion Naomi Osaka’s U.S. Open title protection resulted in tears on Friday, as she suffered a surprising defeat within the third spherical to Canadian Leylah Fernandez 5-7 7-6(2) 6-4, and instructed reporters she deliberate to take a break from the game.
“I really feel like I’m sort of at this level the place I’m making an attempt to determine what I wish to do. Actually I don’t know once I’m going to play my subsequent tennis match,” she mentioned, breaking down in tears at a post-match press convention and pulling the brim of her visor over her eyes.
“I feel I’m going to take a break from taking part in for some time.”
Taking part in in her first Grand Slam since pulling out of the French Open earlier this yr and disclosing her battle with despair, Osaka’s return to Flushing Meadows didn’t go to plan, as she wordlessly left the court docket after uncharacteristically dropping her cool within the second set tiebreak.
The third seed whacked her racquet after which flung it onto the court docket twice in frustration as Fernandez scored 5 straight factors within the tiebreak, in a collection of excellent play.
Osaka not obtain a warning or a code violation and left the court docket in between units.
“I’m actually sorry about that,” she mentioned. “I used to be telling myself to be calm, however I really feel like possibly there was a boiling level.
“Like usually I really feel like I like challenges. However not too long ago I really feel very anxious when issues don’t go my method, and I really feel like you possibly can really feel that. I’m probably not certain why it occurs the way in which it occurs now.”
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Her troubles continued because the 18-year-old Canadian broke her serve to kick off the third set, and Osaka hit a ball into the stands within the second sport, prompting a warning from the chair umpire.
Within the ninth sport Osaka rushed via her serves, not even ready for the gang to calm down, as she was unable to create a single break level alternative within the closing set.
A fan favourite, Osaka has struggled with uneven play since she withdrew from Roland Garros earlier this yr amid a public row with event officers over required media appearances, which she mentioned had a unfavorable influence on her psychological well being.
She instructed followers that she has struggled with despair for years, prompting new dialogue round psychological well being in skilled sport.
“How do I’m going round saying this? I really feel like for me not too long ago, like, once I win I don’t really feel completely satisfied. I really feel extra like a aid. After which once I lose, I really feel very unhappy, mentioned Osaka.
“I don’t assume that’s regular.”
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Fernandez breaks via
It was a breakthrough efficiency for Fernandez, who reached the fourth spherical of a serious for the primary time only a few days shy of her nineteenth birthday.
She fired off 28 winners throughout the three units, and mentioned in a televised interview that she labored at “simply discovering the options” throughout the match.
“She’s an awesome server, she’s been hitting aces left, proper and heart,” Fernandez mentioned of Osaka.
Fernandez subsequent faces 2016 champion Angelique Kerber of Germany.
(Reporting by Amy Tennery in New York; Modifying by William Mallard)
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