Osaka insulted at Indian Wells: Naomi, you suck!

The Indian Wells Masters 1000 experienced an unpleasant incident last morning when a spectator insulted Naomi Osaka during the Japanese match against Veronika Kudermetova. While the Russian bounced the ball before serving, in the third game, a loud shout was heard from the stands: “Naomi, you suck!” (you suck!). The winner of four Grand Slams approached the supervisor’s chair, showed her discomfort and, off center, conceded the set in love. Subsequently, she lost and was eliminated from the prestigious Californian tournament: 6-0 and 6-4.

The incident greatly affected Osaka, who cried for a few moments and remained rooted to the chair during the breaks. The English judge Clare Wood approached her to try to comfort her and the Japanese (24 years old) finally continued playing, but she could not recover and gave in to Kudermetova despite fighting her the second set. Thus, she said goodbye to her in her second appearance, having beaten Sloane Stephens two days earlier in her premiere.

Before leaving the track, emotional, she lamented the attitude of the spectator who insulted her and made reference to a past episode that blurred the history of Indian Wells. “To be honest, I’ve been booed before and it hasn’t bothered me, but do it here?” she began. “I have seen a video of Venus and Serena [Williams] being booed here. If you have never seen it, you should,” she continued. “I don’t know why, but she got into my head and repeated herself a lot,” added the Japanese, who has fallen to 78th place in the rankings and has only played three tournaments in half a year.

“Among 10,000 people, the voice of only one cannot prevail over that of 9,999″, the interviewer told her at the foot of the dance floor, while the crowd surrounded her; “we want you here”.

Usually only the winner speaks after matches, but this time an exception was made and Osaka spoke to the crowd. He thanked the support of the stands and mentioned the sad episode that happened in 2001 on that same stage, when the American Serena Williams ―champion of that edition―, her sister Venus and her father Richard were booed and received racist insults during the final played by the first against Belgian Kim Klijsters. For 14 years, both players, two of the most successful in tennis history, refused to return to the tournament.

Osaka is one of the best tennis players on the circuit and, probably, the one with the greatest media impact today, along with Serena herself. Last year left Roland Garros after being sanctioned for failing to comply with the obligation to appear before the media. She then alluded to “mental health” issues and later delved into the subject, with an insightful piece published by the magazine Time in which he recounted that he had suffered from depression for two years. From there, he gave up Wimbledon, reappeared at the Tokyo Olympics, and fizzled out competitively.

He competed in the US Open, but fell in the third round against Leylah Fernández (18 years old) and decided to end the season. “I feel like when I win, I’m not happy, it’s more of a relief. And then when I lose, I’m really sad. I am at a point where I am trying to figure out what I want to do, ”she then exposed with glazed eyes, an increasingly frequent circumstance in a highly emotional athlete. From crying to crying Osaka.

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Osaka insulted at Indian Wells: Naomi, you suck!


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