Naomi Osaka: tennis player interrupts press conference in tears after discussion with journalist

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Following these questions, Osaka was being asked about preparing for the hard-court summer portion of the season and her reaction to what is happening in Haiti following a devastating earthquake. Osaka’s father is from Haiti, and the tennis superstar said in a tweet on Saturday that she would donate the cash prize she wins in the Western & Southern Open relief efforts in Haiti.

It was during this part of the shoot that Osaka started wiping his face and lowered his hat over his eyes. A reporter said, “Sorry,” as Osaka grew emotional, to which Osaka replied, “No, you’re super good.”

As Osaka cried, the moderator said they would take a quick break. After a few minutes, Osaka returned to complete the session. She apologized for going out.

Before that happened, Osaka had an exchange with Paul Daugherty, a reporter from the Cincinnati Enquirer who said, “You are not crazy to deal with us, especially in this format. Yet you have a lot of outside interests that are served by having a media platform. ”

The Osaka agent later called the reporter a “bully”.

Following the exchange, Daugherty published a column in which he noted that “in the Zoom format, there is no room for discussion or nuance,” adding that he was unsure whether Osaka understood the question or if it made her uncomfortable. But he praised her response, calling it “honest, thoughtful… and unlike any response I’ve ever had in 34 years covering the sport in Cincinnati.”

Before the Olympics, Osaka’s last participation was at Roland Garros in May. Ahead of the start of this tournament, the four-time major champion and world No.2 said she would not be doing press conferences – knowing she would be fined – citing her sanity.

After a declaration from the four majors – the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open – which threatened further sanctions, including the absence from the tournament, Osaka withdrew, revealing that ‘she had “suffered long periods of depression” since winning her first major title in 2018.

“I discovered it at the same time as you”

After answering consecutive questions regarding the press conferences, here is the exchange that took place between columnist Daugherty and Osaka:

Girl : “You are not crazy to deal with us, especially in this format. Yet you have a lot of outside interests that are served by a media platform. I guess my question is how do you balance the two? ? And do you also have something you would like to share with us about what you said to Simone Biles? ” (Earlier in the press conference, Osaka said she texted Biles but wanted to give him some space, “because I know how upsetting that can be.”)

Ossaka: “When you say I’m not crazy to deal with you guys what is that referring to?” “

Girl : “Well, you said you don’t particularly like the press conference format, but it obviously seems to be the most widely used means of communication with the media and via the media with the public. “

Ossaka: “It’s interesting. I would say the occasion, like when doing the press conferences what I feel is the most difficult.”

Osaka then stopped, saying she was thinking. The moderator suggested moving on and asked Osaka if she wanted to answer the next question.

Ossaka: “No. I’m very interested in that point of view. So if you could repeat it that would be great.”

Girl : “The question was that you don’t particularly like dealing with media, especially in this format. You suggested that there are better ways to do it, that we would like to try to explore that. My question, I guess. , Do you also have outside interests beyond tennis that are served by the platform that the media presents to you. My question is how do you think you are able to better balance the two? “

Ossaka: “I feel like this is something that I can’t really speak for everyone. I can only speak for myself, but since I was younger, I have a lot of media interest in me, and I think it’s because of my background as well as the way I play. Because I’m primarily a tennis player. That’s why a lot of people care about me.

Naomi Osaka to leave Tokyo Olympics without a medal, loses in 3rd round against Marketa Vondrousova
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“I would say in this regard that I’m quite different from a lot of people. I can’t really help but say that there are things that I tweet or things that I say that create a lot of news stories. or things like I know it’s because I’ve won a few Grand Slam tournaments and had the opportunity to do a lot of press conferences where these things happen.

“But I would also say that I don’t really know how to balance the two. I’m finding out along with you, I would say.”

After that, as Osaka received the next round of questions from a tennis reporter regarding preparation and Haiti, Osaka showed visible emotion.

Osaka Agent Stuart Duguid said in a statement, “The Cincinnati Enquirer bully is the epitome of why player / media relations are so strained right now. Everyone on this Zoom will agree. that her tone was all wrong and her only purpose was to intimidate. Truly appalling behavior. And this insinuation that Naomi owes her success off the pitch to the media is a myth – don’t be so indulgent to yourself. “

CNN has reached out to Daugherty for comment.

“There are people I don’t know very well who ask me really very sensitive questions”

Ahead of the exchange with Daugherty, a reporter asked Osaka if there was any advice she could give reporters on how they can help make it a better experience for athletes going through losses and tough times. while asking questions at press conferences.

“For me, I feel like most of the time – it’s just me as a person – I’m pretty open when it comes to press conferences,” Osaka said. “I feel like I’ve been like this my whole life. There are times when I would say there are people that I don’t know very well who ask me really, really sensitive questions. then especially after a loss, this kind of amplifies a bit.

'I need to focus on my sanity' says Simone Biles after withdrawing from gold medal event

“I would even say repetitive questions, like questions that have been asked of us before, but maybe you weren’t here at the previous press conference. Just like maybe reading the transcripts. a professional press conference or whatever, but, just to make the experience a little more user-friendly, I would say. “

She also suggested that a player take a “sick day”.

“We get fined if we don’t do press conferences, but sometimes we feel really sad,” Osaka said. “I think maybe there should be a rule that maybe we could take a day off sick and maybe respond to you in emails and things like that. feels like that would be pretty fair, but again I’m only speaking on my own and not sure how all of your guys (referring to the media) – I guess maybe you want to capture us when we come straight out of the field, so I don’t know what’s right. “

Regarding Haiti, Osaka said: “It’s really scary. I see the news every day. Honestly, the earthquake was kinda close to my parents’ school there. Honestly, I don’t really know how it goes, and I haven’t seen any pictures or videos of this one yet. “

At the Open Western & Southern 2020 – held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York City instead of the Cincinnati area – Osaka finished second after retiring with injury hamstring. She was going to win the US Open.

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