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In Her First Press Conference Since The French Open Naomi Osaka Had To Leave For a Brief Moment In Tears After a Question From The Media

Julian Finney. Getty Images.

Yesterday Naomi Osaka engaged in her first press conference since withdrawing from the French Open a few months ago. She's playing in the Cincy Open right now and this was a pre-tournament presser. Osaka said she was going to donate all her earnings from this tournament to the Haiti relief efforts which is pretty incredible. 

As for the presser, it unfortunately didn't go so well. The moment begins with Cincinnati Enquirer journalist Paul Daugherty asking this question….

“You’re not especially fond of dealing with the media, especially in this format. You have suggested there are better ways to do it that'd we'd like to try to explore that, my question 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 are able to best balance the two?”

(it's worth noting Osaka did return to answer a few more questions once she gathered herself)

First of all, I feel for Naomi Osaka here and it pains me to see her struggle this way. It's very clear this format of interview is very tough on her and difficult to handle at the moment. That being said, there's been lots of reaction to this clip calling the question presented to her 'appalling' and way too aggressively toned. This was her agent's response. 

I'm sorry but that question was fair. Appalling behavior? Come on now, what are we doing here? If you want to hear the question asked (I had trouble finding it on Twitter) go to the 1:32 time stamp in this video. It really is a fine and fair question. Calling this dude a bully for that question is actually ridiculous. 

Here's what I'm gathering… Osaka needs to step away from tennis for an extended period of time. She's clearly going through a lot right now and still only 23 years of age. Every time she steps up to the podium in this interview format she's putting herself in a vulnerable spot in the mental state she's in. This was her first interview like this since the French Open and clearly those issues are still troubling her. Mental health is extremely important in today's world, especially in sports. She really needs to take some serious time away from the sport and get her mind right. Tennis will always be there for her, she's only 23 with the talent to win 10+ grand slams easily, but right now she is nowhere close to in the right mental head space to handle the tour. I really hope she's able to get the help that she needs because on the court she is a marvel to watch and from a personality perspective when she's comfortable she's a real joy to listen to. Wish her nothing but the best.