Naomi Osaka cuts news conference short after Wimbledon upset: 'I feel like I'm about to cry'

Naomi Osaka cut her post-match news conference short after a shocking first-round upset at Wimbledon. (Reuters)
Naomi Osaka cut her post-match news conference short after a shocking first-round upset at Wimbledon. (Reuters)

Naomi Osaka lost at Wimbledon Monday in stunning fashion.

The tournament’s No. 2 seed fell in the first round to 39th-ranked Yulia Putintseva, 7-6 (4), 6-2. It was her third loss in three matches against Putintseva, including a loss two weeks ago at the Birmingham Classic.

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‘Can I go?’

After the match, Osaka, 21, was overcome with emotion in her news conference and cut it short in the middle of a question, asking a handler, “Can I go?”

“I feel like I’m about to cry,” Osaka said before walking away from the podium.

Osaka’s fast rise to fame

Fame and success have come fast for Osaka, who beat Serena Williams for the 2018 U.S. Open title in one of the most talked-about sporting events of the year.

Her victory was marred by Williams’ outburst at chair umpire Carlos Ramos, calling him a liar and a thief and smashing her racket on the court. The incident divided the tennis world, with Williams calling the negative reaction to her outburst a double-standard that men like John McEnroe would not have received.

The U.S. Open trophy ceremony moved Osaka to tears when Williams’ home crowd erupted in boos over the controversy.

It marked Osaka’s introduction to the larger sports world and was her first of two consecutive grand-slam wins as she followed up her U.S. Open win with victory at the 2019 Australian Open en route to gaining the No. 1 ranking in the world.

Osaka has since fired her coach. She lost in the third round of the French Open and entered play at Wimbledon ranked No. 2 in the world.

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