What happened to Naomi Osaka after she withdraws in tears at Canadian Open?

Joshua Rogers August 10, 2022
What happened to Naomi Osaka after she withdraws in tears at Canadian Open?
Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

Tennis fans wanted to know what happened to Naomi Osaka after she retired in tears mid-match at the Canadian Open.

The Canadian Open (now rebranded as the National Bank Open) is currently underway with players using the American hard court season to prepare for the upcoming US Open.

Naomi Osaka is one of the biggest names in tennis. She became a global name at the US Open in 2018 when she defeated 23-time Grand Slam singles champion Serena Williams in the final.

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However, 2022 has been a difficult year for the 24-year-old Japanese star. She lost in the third round at the Australian Open before losing in the first-round at the French Open.

Her troubles were compounded at the Canadian Open recently when she was forced to retire mid-match. But what happened to Naomi Osaka?

Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

What happened to Naomi Osaka at the Canadian Open?

The four-time Grand Slam champion was appearing at the Canadian Open this week. She faced Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi on Tuesday, however, Osaka was forced to withdraw from the match with Kanepi leading 7-6 (4), 3-0.

Fans were understandably concerned and asked what had happened.

Osaka retired from her first-round match at the Canadian Open due to a back injury, and looked visibly upset as she left the court in tears.

Afterwards, she told ESPN: “I felt my back from the start of the match, and despite trying to push through it, I just wasn’t able to today.

“I’d like to pay credit to Kaia for playing well and want to wish her all the best for the rest of the tournament.”

Afterwards Osaka commented on Twitter: ‘Today is just really not a good day…’

Fans show concern for Osaka after she withdraws in tears

Osaka entered the Canadian Open ranked 39th in the world. She recently suffered an Achilles injury, causing her to miss Wimbledon, and also split from longtime coach Wim Fissette in July.

After Osaka withdrew from the match in tears, fans showed their support for the tennis star online:

She has been open about her mental health struggles over the years

Naomi Osaka has always been open about her struggles with mental health and anxiety in recent years. In 2021, she withdrew from the French Open ‘to protect her mental health’. 

“The truth is that I have suffered long bouts of depression since the US Open in 2018 and I have had a really hard time coping with that,” she wrote on Instagram at the time. Later that year she appeared on the cover of TIME for a feature called ‘It’s O.K. Not to Be O.K.’

Osaka returned for the Cincinnati Open. However, after failing to defend her title at the 2021 US Open, she announced another hiatus from the sport as winning did not make her happy anymore.

She returned to action in 2022 but was reduced to tears after being heckled during her second-round defeat to Veronika Kudermetova in Indian Wells. A spectator reportedly shouted “Naomi, you suck” and afterwards she said the incident reminded her of Venus and Serena Williams receiving abuse at the same venue in 2001.

The 2022 US Open begins on August 29. It remains to be seen if Osaka’s latest back injury will rule her out or not.

Do you think Osaka will play at the US Open? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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Joshua is a senior sports writer with over four years' experience in online writing. He graduated with a BA in Ancient History from The University of Manchester before receiving an MA in Sports Journalism from The University of Central Lancashire. He became a trending writer for a leading social publisher and later spent time covering the 2018 World Cup for The Mirror Online. He then moved to a social marketing agency where he acted as website editor. His specialties on The Focus include F1, tennis, NBA, NFL and combat sports.