Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka was in tears in her first press conference since pulling out of the French Open in May.
The 23-year-old had decided against doing press conferences to aid her mental health in Paris and eventually withdrew from the event. She also missed Wimbledon and only returned from the break at the Tokyo Olympics where she lit the Olympic torch.
However, on return to press conference duties at Cincinnati Open, Osaka was asked by Cincinnati Enquirer columnist Paul Daugherty about how she balanced benefits of a big media profile without talking to the media.
The Japanese player sought clarification about the question before answering it but as soon as she was posed another tennis-related question, she began to cry.
Osaka briefly left the press conference room but returned later to complete it.
The 23-year-old felt skipping media duties at French Open was something she needed to do to protect herself.
“It felt like something I needed to do for myself. I felt like I holed up in my house for a couple of weeks and was a little bit 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 glad I did what I did.”
Osaka will now look to get ready to compete at the US Open that starts from August 30.