The umpire dismissed Osaka’s request to address the crowd immediately after the heckler screamed at her.
On Saturday, Naomi Osaka was moved to tears during her play at the Indian Wells Masters in California. During Osaka’s match against Veronika Kudermetova, a heckler yelled from the fans, “Naomi, you suck!”
After that remark, the audience booed the heckler, but Osaka was obviously unhappy. Osaka once asked the umpire if she might use a microphone to address the audience.
“I only have a few words. I’m not about to cuss. I never curse. It’s simply weighing on my heart “According to NBC News, Osaka informed the umpire.
However, the umpire dismissed Osaka’s plea, and she was obliged to make her comments after the match.
“I simply want to say, ‘Thank you,'” Osaka said following the victory. “I’ve had my fill of crying in front of the camera. I just wanted to convey that, to be honest, I’d been heckled before and it didn’t disturb me.”
Osaka explained that she was upset in part because she remembered Serena and Venus Williams being heckled at Indian Wells early in their careers.
“I watched a video of Venus and Serena [Williams] being heckled here, and if you haven’t seen it, you should. I’m not sure why, but it became stuck in my brain and was replayed a lot. I’m doing my best not to weep “Osaka said.
Osaka has taken a break from tennis during the last year. She even withdrew from the French Open to focus on her mental health. This followed Osaka’s refusal to attend post-match press conferences during the Grand Slam competition.
In addition, Osaka skipped Wimbledon last summer before returning to play in the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
The Japanese player, who missed portions of the 2021 season to focus on her mental health, was jeered early in the match, and it was clearly a factor in her 6-0, 6-4 loss to the world No. 24.
A spectator reportedly yelled “Naomi, you stink,” prompting Osaka to protest to the umpire, and she was obviously weeping as she went to serve at the start of the third game. Clearly shaken, she dropped the first set without winning a game before fighting back in the second.
After her defeat, Osaka took the unusual choice to remain on the court and be interviewed, citing a video she saw of Venus and Serena Williams experiencing abuse at the same site in 2001.
After being racially assaulted 21 years ago, the Williams sisters boycotted the event – largely considered as the largest outside of the four grand slams – for 14 years. “I just wanted to say thank you, I feel like I cry enough on television,” Osaka said through tears on the court.
“To be honest, I’ve been heckled before, and it doesn’t affect me, but being heckled here, I watched a video of Venus and Serena being heckled here.” If you haven’t seen it, you should, and I’m not sure why, but it became stuck in my brain and was replayed a lot.”
She suffers from her mental health;
Osaka was competing in her first competition since losing in the third round of the Australian Open in January. After admitting her mental health difficulties, the 24-year-old withdrew from the French Open and subsequently skipped Wimbledon last year.
"I feel for Naomi. I also didn't feel very well in Australia. I can imagine the fans thinking, 'They're earning millions, they should be prepared for anything.' But we're still human. We all make mistakes. Sometimes we feel bad."
Daniil Medvedev on Naomi Osaka pic.twitter.com/ySexgWvYZA
— We Are Tennis (@WeAreTennis) March 16, 2022
She returned in September for the US Open, but stated she would take another break following an early defeat, adding, “When I win, I don’t feel joyful.”
“Naomi was reminded of something that happened with Serena here a few years ago,” said Russian Kudermetova, who was playing under a neutral banner owing to her country’s unlawful invasion of Ukraine. She began to cry because it reminded her of what had happened to Serena. But it makes no difference. I know she’s a strong woman and a wonderful person. “I believe it will go well with her.”