Tennis superstar Naomi Osaka on Monday broke down in tears during her first press conference since a controversial Roland Garros withdrawal on May 31st.
Osaka has experienced a strained and clearly stressful relationship with the press ever since her feelings regarding certain lines of questioning were made known earlier this year. She was reduced to raw emotion on Monday when accused by a journalist of only being willing to address the press when it suited her or benefited her directly.
Osaka’s agent, Stuart Dunguid, shortly after Monday’s tearful episode condemned the reporter’s line of questioning in an official statement, while referring to the behaviour as “bullying”. Dunguid also described current relationships between the media and several players as fraught and unstable, and the sort of behaviour that is to blame for the poor relations.
Following her tearful exit from the press meeting on Monday, Osaka returned to answer only a single question in English and a few more in Japanese.
The Japanese tennis star has been using her public platform to call attention once more to the mental health issues facing so many players and athletes the world over. Osaka said on Monday that she now knew that what she had done at Roland Garros had been the right thing to do. She said an eye-opener had been the many athletes who had approached her to thank her at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. The response had made her glad for having done what she had, said Osaka.
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