Naomi Osaka Reduced to Tears By Reporter Ahead of Western & Southern Open

by Shine My Crown Staff

Tennis champion Naomi Osaka became tearful after a tense exchange with a reporter.

Osaka has made it clear that she finds press conferences a strain on her mental health and, earlier this year, declined to do interviews at two prior events.

“You are not crazy about dealing with us, especially in this format, yet you have a lot of outside interests that are served by having a media platform,” the reporter from The Cincinnati Enquirer begins. “I guess my question is, how do you balance the two and also do you have anything you’d like to share about what you did say about Simone Biles?”

Osaka then asks, “When you say I’m “not crazy about dealing with you guys,” what does that refer to?”

The reporter replies, “Well, you’ve stated too that you especially don’t like the press conference format and yet that seems to be obviously the most widely used means of communicating to the media and through the media to the public.”

“Hmm, that’s interesting,” Osaka muses. “I would say the occasion, like, when to do the press conferences is what I feel is the most difficult, but … [pause] hmmm … [long pause] … sorry, I’m thinking … [another long pause].”

The moderator then asks Osaka if she’d like to move on to the next question.

“Um, no, I’m actually very interested in that point of view, so if you could repeat that, that would be awesome,” she responds.

The reporter then elaborates.

“The question was that you’re not especially fond of dealing with the media, especially in this format. You’ve suggested there are better ways to do it. My question was, I guess, was, you also have outside interests beyond tennis that are served by having the platform that the media presents to you. How do you think you might be able to best balance the two?”

Osaka then gives an in-depth response to the reporters pointed question:

“For me, I feel like, this is something that — I can’t really speak for everybody, I can only speak for myself — but ever since I was younger, I’ve had a lot of media interest on me, and I think it’s because of my background as well, as you know, how I play, because in the first place I am a tennis player, that’s why a lot of people are interested in me,” she says.

“So I would say, in that regards, I’m quite different to a lot of people and I can’t really help that there’s are some things that I tweet or some things that I say that kind of create a lot of news articles or things like that. And I know that it’s because I’ve won a couple of Grand Slams and I’ve gotten to do a lot of press conferences that these things happen. But I would also say, I’m not really sure how to balance the two, I am figuring out at the same time as you are, I would say.”

Naomi Osaka’s agent Stuart Duguid issued the following statement to The New York Times:

“The bully at the Cincinnati Enquirer is the epitome of why player / media relations are so fraught right now. Everyone on that Zoom will agree that his tone was all wrong and his sole purpose was to intimidate. Really appalling behavior,” the statement reads. “And this insinuation that Naomi owes her off court success to the media is a myth – don’t be so self-indulgent.”

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