Naomi Osaka was ranked as Forbes’ highest-paid female athlete in 2021, but now the tennis star is thinking about taking a hiatus.
On Friday night, Osaka lost her third-round competition match to 18-year-old Canadian Leylah Fernandez. After an emotional defeat, Osaka expressed her uncertainties about the future of her tennis career.
“Basically, I feel like I’m kind of at this point where I’m trying to figure out what I want to do,” she shared, breaking into tears. “I honestly don’t know when I’m going to play my next tennis match.”
She added, “I feel like for me recently, like, when I win I don’t feel happy. I feel more like a relief. And then when I lose, I feel very sad. I don’t think that’s normal.”
An Unexpected Year for Osaka
“I would never trivialize mental health or use the term lightly,” she shared on social media in May. “The truth is I have suffered long bouts of depression since the US Open in 2018 and I have had a really hard time coping with that. Anyone that knows me knows I’m introverted, and anyone that has seen me at the tournaments will notice that I’m often wearing headphones as that helps dull my social anxiety.”
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Osaka Plans to Take a Break From Tennis
Osaka has struggled with the attention her athletic prowess has garnered, revealing the pressure of talking to members of the media often causes her mental anguish. But after her loss at the U.S. Open, she was candid about how she was feeling during a press conference.