During a news conference in Cincinnati, Naomi Osaka breaks down in tears and returns a few minutes later; the Japanese star claimed her choice to withdraw from the French Open and then skip Wimbledon due to mental health issues was "something I needed to do for myself."
Osaka, who withdrew from the French Open and Wimbledon due to mental health concerns, grew visibly irritated when a journalist said she isn't "passionate" about dealing with the media, despite having outside interests that benefit from having a media presence.
Before exiting the news conference, Osaka broke down in tears after being asked about the destruction in action.
"Sorry for stepping away," the four-time Grand Slam champion said after returning minutes later.
Going to the Olympics and having other athletes approach me and express their gratitude for what I done was the most eye-opening experience.
Osaka was given the option of skipping the question on how she balances speaking to the media with having outside interests that are served by having a media platform, but she declined and instead requested the journalist to repeat his question before responding in her own expressive style.
"I've had a lot of media attention on me since I was a kid, and I believe it's because of my history and the way I play." Tennis is my sport. That's why so many people are curious about me," she said.
"I'd say I'm fairly different from a lot of others in that way," she says. I can't control it if there are some things I tweet or say that result in a lot of news pieces or other things like that, and I know it's because I've won a couple of Grand Slams and given a lot of press conferences that these things happen.
"But I'd also say that I'm not sure how to strike a balance between the two. I'd say I'm figuring things out at the same time as you are."
The 23-year-old, who has won both the US Open and the Australian Open twice, opened up about her depression difficulties, but said she was "embarrassed" to leave her house for fear of what others might say.
After meeting with fellow competitors at the Tokyo Olympics, Osaka has come to terms with the statement about her mental health.
She stated, " "I wouldn't say I was very proud of myself at the time. More than anything, I felt it was something I needed to accomplish for myself. I felt like I'd been holed up in my house for a few weeks, and I was hesitant to go out because I didn't know if people were looking at me differently than they usually did.
"Going to the Olympics and having other athletes approach me and express their gratitude for what I done was the most eye-opening experience. So, after all of that, I'm happy of what I've accomplished, and I believe that it was something that needed to be done."
Osaka, who has vowed to give her tournament profits to earthquake relief efforts in Haiti, also aims to do more in the aftermath of Saturday's 7.2-magnitude earthquake that rocked the impoverished country.
At least 1,297 persons have been identified as dead, with an unknown number remaining missing.
"I don't feel like I'm doing nearly enough for Haiti. I wish I could do more, and I'm trying to figure out what I can do and where I should focus my efforts "Osaka, who was visibly moved, expressed his feelings.
The prize money idea was the first thing that sprang to mind as something I could do to raise the maximum exposure. That, I suppose, is why I made the announcement. It's terrifying, because I watch the news every day, and the earthquake happened close to, you know, my parents' school there, so I'm not sure how that's going, and I haven't seen any photographs or footage of it yet."
In the second round of the Western & Southern Start, Osaka, who lighted the Olympic cauldron to officially open the Tokyo Games last month, will face the winner of the match between Coco Gauff and Hsieh Su-wei.
Osaka is prepared to defend her US Open crown, which begins on August 30 in New York.
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