Naomi Osaka in tears soon after media inquiries, agent calls reporter a ‘bully’

Naomi Osaka briefly still left a press conference at the Western & Southern Open up in Cincinnati on Monday soon after she appeared to get upset with a line of questioning about her marriage with the media, leading her agent to describe a reporter as a “bully.”

Osaka withdrew from the French Open up before this yr soon after staying punished for refusing to do media conferences, indicating her psychological wellbeing was adversely impacted by specific strains of questioning.

On Monday, a reporter from a Cincinnati newspaper questioned the 23-year-previous: “You are not insane about dealing with us, specifically in this structure. Nevertheless you have a whole lot of outdoors pursuits that are served by obtaining a media platform. How do you balance the two?”

Osaka 2 times asked the reporter to clarify his problem and turned down an offer you from the moderator to transfer on to the following question before supplying a comprehensive reply.

“At any time considering the fact that I was youthful, I have had a good deal of media fascination on me, and I think it’s mainly because of my track record as effectively,” explained Osaka, who is of Japanese-Haitian heritage but grew up primarily in the United States.

“I cannot genuinely assist that there are some factors that I tweet or some factors that I say that kind of produce a good deal of information articles or blog posts or points like that … but I would also say I’m not really sure how to equilibrium the two. Like I am figuring it out at the exact time as you are, I would say.”

When a further reporter commenced to question about her preparations for the summer months tough-courtroom year and her pledge to donate her prize revenue from this week’s Western & Southern Open up to Haitian earthquake relief initiatives, Osaka appeared to wipe absent tears.

The moderator referred to as for a pause to the proceedings and Osaka left the space for a couple minutes but returned to comprehensive the information convention.

Osaka’s French Open withdrawal not only led to her revealing that she has struggled to cope with depression for a quantity of several years but it also prompted her to pull out from Roland Garros and Wimbledon for the sake of her mental properly-being.

After getting rid of early at the Tokyo Online games, wherever she was specified the honor of lights the Olympic flame at the opening ceremony, she said she struggled to cope with the substantial tension and expectation put on her.

Osaka’s agent condemns line of questioning

Osaka’s agent, Stuart Duguid, condemned the reporter’s line of questioning on Monday in a assertion offered to Reuters.

“The bully at the Cincinnati Enquirer is the epitome of why player/media relations are so fraught suitable now,” said Duguid.

“All people on that Zoom will concur that his tone was all mistaken and his sole goal was to intimidate. Seriously appalling actions.

“And this insinuation that Naomi owes her off-court docket achievements to the media is a fantasy — will not be so self-indulgent.”

The reporter did not right away reply to a request for remark.

Osaka has made use of her system to get in touch with awareness to mental health difficulties and she said at the information conference she felt supported by her fellow athletes.

“The largest eye opener was likely to the Olympics and acquiring other athletes arrive up to me and say they have been truly glad that I did what I did,” she additional.

“I’m very pleased of what I did and I consider that it was anything that wanted to be performed.”