After losing in the third round of the 2021 US Open, Naomi Osaka might be planning a break from tennis.
On Friday (Sept. 3), the 23-year-old tennis star lost to Leylah Fernandez, and during the post-match press conference, she spoke on the way recent matches have made her feel.
“I feel like for me recently, like, when I win, I don’t feel happy,” said the ESPY Award winner, who started to cry during the interview. “I feel more like a relief. And then when I lose, I feel very sad. I don’t think that’s normal.”
“Basically I feel like I’m kind of at this point where I’m trying to figure out what I want to do, and I honestly don’t know when I’m going to play my next tennis match,” she continued. “I think I’m going to take a break from playing for a while.”
While the moderator tried to end the media conference after Osaka began crying, she chose to continue, though the interview ended abruptly.
Osaka’s comments at the U.S. Open mark the latest in a series of revelations she’s made about her own mental well-being. In May, she dropped out of the French Open after refusing to speak to the press, a move she made in order to protect her mental health. In June, she withdrew from Wimbledon to take personal time with her family and friends.
Speaking at a press conference to discuss her participation in the Western & Southern Open last month, she explained why she had been avoiding the media.
“It was something I needed to do for myself,” she said at the time. “More than anything, I felt like I holed up in my house for a couple weeks, and I was a little bit embarrassed to go out because I didn’t know if people were looking at me in a different way than they usually did before.”
“But I think the biggest eye-opener was going to the Olympics and having other athletes come up to me and say that they were really glad that I did what I did,” Osaka continued. “So after all that, I’m proud of what I did, and I think that it was something that needed to be done.”