Naomi Osaka in tears after dramatic US Open exit as she plans indefinite break

Defending champion Naomi Osaka struggled to contain her emotions following her shock exit from the US Open, after losing in three sets to Leylah Fernandez.

Osaka was defeated 5-7 7-6(2) 6-4 to the 18-year-old at Flushing Meadows in the third round, having been in the position to serve for the match during the second set.

It was a very frustrating US Open campaign for Osaka, who had withdrawn from the French Open and Wimbledon earlier this year to look after her own mental health.

The 23-year-old Japanese star was visibly frustrated on court after making a number of errors and giving Fernandez a route back into the match following a 7-2 defeat in the second set tie-break.

Osaka was clearly unhappy with the decline in her display on US Open's main court, and uncharacteristically threw her racket down to the floor as she struggled to deal with her emotions.

And after she was consigned to defeat, Osaka revealed in her press conference that she is planning to take an indefinite break as she struggled to fight back the tears in New York.

Osaka told reporters at Flushing Meadows on Saturday evening: “This is very hard to articulate.

“Basically I feel like I’m kind of at this point where I’m trying to figure out what I want to do, and I honestly don’t know when I’m going to play my next tennis match. Sorry.

“I think I’m going to take a break from playing for a while.

“How do I go around saying this? I feel like for me recently when I win I don’t feel happy. I feel more like a relief. And then when I lose, I feel very sad. I don’t think that’s normal. I didn’t really want to cry.”

Osaka was also quizzed on her on-court frustration, and she immediately apologised and admitted she had no idea why she threw her racket to the ground.

When asked why she did it by a reporter at the press conference, Osaka had replied: “Yeah, I’m really sorry about that.

“I’m not really sure why [I did it]. I felt like I was pretty [calm], I was telling myself to be calm, but I feel like maybe there was a boiling point.

“Normally I feel like I like challenges, but recently I feel very anxious when things don’t go my way and I feel like you can feel that.

“I’m not really sure why it happens the way it happens now. But yeah, that’s basically why. You could kind of see that, I was kind of like a little kid.”

Meanwhile, after recording her biggest victory to date, 18-year-old Fernandez – who has never reached the fourth round of a Grand Slam – will face 2016 champion Angelique Kerber next at the US Open.

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