Sep 3, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Naomi Osaka of Japan hits to Leylah Fernandez of Canada on day five of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

In the third round of the US Open, Naomi Osaka was defeated by Canadian teenager Leylah Fernandez. Despite being the defending champion, the Japanese star struggled in her match against Fernandez and lost in three sets.

Following her loss at the US Open, Naomi Osaka has announced a tennis hiatus. Source: dw.com

Following the match, Osaka stated that she will be taking an indefinite leave of absence from the sport. Former Grand Slam champion Billie Jean King extended her support to Osaka, even though this marks the end of a rough year for the 23-year-old.

Support for Naomi Osaka

Despite winning the Australian Open this year, Osaka’s season took a turn in the French Open. The Japanese star withdrew from the event after winning her first match, claiming mental health difficulties.

She returned to the court at the Tokyo Olympics after bringing mental health to the forefront. Since then, World No. 3 has struggled for consistency, failing to win a medal in Tokyo and exiting the Cincinnati Open in a shocking fashion.

Following her loss to Fernandez, Osaka announced that she will retire from the sport indefinitely. She indicated that taking a break from the sport will help her deal with the problems she’s having right now. While fans had mixed reactions, 12-time Grand Slam champion tweeted in support of Osaka.

One of ESPN’s finest tennis commentators, Pam Shriver, said Osaka appeared to be in need of a rest. She also emphasized how a break might benefit athletes, citing Ashleigh Barty’s vacation last year as an example.

She said, “It seems she as if [Osaka] needs and wants to take a break,” Shriver told The Post. “It been very helpful to take a sabbatical to rest during your career. Barty is the best example how it can help. She took a break until she felt ready.”

With her announcement, Osaka’s this season remains unknown. There’s a chance she’ll skip Indian Wells and the WTA Finals at the end of the year.

Read More: Daniela Hantuchova takes dig at Naomi Osaka for skipping press conferences – “It’s disrespectful”

1 COMMENT

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here