Naomi Osaka Shares New Perspective on Her Tennis Career Amid Devastating Events in Haiti and Afghanistan

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Tennis – Women’s Singles – Round 1 – Ariake Tennis Park – Tokyo, Japan – July 25, 2021. Naomi Osaka of Japan celebrates after winning her first round match against Zheng Saisai of China REUTERS/Edgar Su

Naomi Osaka is in a state of reflection about her tennis career amid the recent devastating events in Haiti and Afghanistan.

The four-time Grand Slam winner, 23, took a break from a press conference on Monday after she began to cry during the pre-match interview at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. Returning on Wednesday after winning her match against Coco Gauff, the 23-year-old explained why her relationship with the press and viewpoint on tennis has recently evolved.

“I guess seeing the state of the world, how everything is in Haiti, how everything is in Afghanistan right now is definitely really crazy,” she told reporters on Wednesday, ABC News reported.

Osaka announced on social media last Saturday that she plans to donate any prize money she wins during this tournament to help relief efforts following the 7.2-magnitude earthquake in Haiti, which has killed over 2,000 people. Osaka’s father is Haitian.

“For me just to be hitting a tennis ball in the United States right now and have people come and watch me play is, I don’t know, like I would want to be myself in this situation rather than anyone else in the world,” the Olympian said on Wednesday.

Discussing her tearful exit from interviews earlier in the week, Osaka reflected, “I was wondering why was I was so affected, I guess. Like what made me not want to do media in the first place.”

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SOURCE: PEOPLE, Naledi Ushe

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