Tennis: Naomi Osaka briefly leaves Cincinnati Open press conference in tears

The 23-year-old Japanese player refused to attend press conferences at the French Open Group in May due to mental health problems

Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka burst into tears at her first press conference after leaving the French Open in May.

The 23-year-old decided not to hold press conferences in Paris to promote her mental health and eventually withdrew from the event. She also missed Wimbledon and had just returned from a break at the Tokyo Olympics, where she lit the Olympic torch.

Cincinnati Enquirer columnist Paul Daugherty asked how she balanced the benefits of a large media profile without speaking to the media after returning to press conferences at the Cincinnati Open.

Tennis: Naomi Osaka briefly leaves Cincinnati Open press conference in tears:

The Japanese player asked for clarification before answering the question, but began to cry when asked another question about tennis.

Osaka briefly left the press conference room, but then returned to complete it.

The 23-year-old felt that skipping media duties at the French Open was something he had to do to protect himself.

“I felt like I had to do something for myself. I’ve been stuck in my house for a few weeks and I’m a little embarrassed to go out.

“The biggest eye-opener was going to the Olympics and having other athletes come up to me and say they were really happy with what I was doing.”

Osaka will now try to prepare for the US Open, which starts on August 30.

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