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“Can I leave? I feel like I’m about to cry”, Disappointed Osaka cuts short post-match press conference after first round loss to Putintseva

Leye Aduloju in WTA Tour 2 Jul 2019
  • Naomi Osaka cut a forlorn figure at her post-match press conference after her first-round loss to Yulia Putintseva on Monday
  • Osaka fell 7-6 6-2 to Putintseva, who improves to 3-0 against the former world No. 1
Naomi Osaka. (Photo by AFLO)

World No. 2, Naomi Osaka abruptly ended her post-match press conference following her first-round Wimbledon loss to Yulia Putintseva on Monday.

The reigning US Open and Australian Open champion fell 7-6 6-2 to Putintseva to crash out in the opening round at Wimbledon for the first time in her career. The Japanese had reached the third round in each of her two previous main draw appearances.

The 21-year-old cut a forlorn figure throughout the brief post-match conference, providing very short answers to questions, and when she was asked whether she was finding it difficult to get used to the new level of fame that has accompanied her sharp ascent to the top echelon of the sport, Osaka turned to the moderator and asked to leave the interview room.

“Can I leave? I feel like I’m about to cry”, she said, before walking off, bringing an end to the interview.

Osaka was always at risk of the upset against Putintseva given that world No. 2 had not taken a set off the Kazakh in their two previous meetings, and was comfortably beaten on the grass of Birmingham just a couple of weeks prior to Monday’s encounter.


The former world No. 1 made a determined and positive start, serving well, and striking the ball cleanly from the back of the court. She was also keen to get into the forecourt as much as possible, and her early adventure was rewarded with a break for the 3-1 lead. 

However, Putintseva is a feisty competitor, and slowly but surely, the Kazakh began to chip away at Osaka. It was not just about her absorbing Osaka’s power, but she also kept her opponent on the move when she could, making good use of the drop shot to keep the Japanese off balance. Putintseva broke back for 3-3, and following six consecutive holds of serve, the set went into a tie break.

Again, Osaka jumped out to an early 3-1 lead, but she lost her way after that, committing a flurry of unforced errors- she totaled 38 of those for the match- to concede six of the next seven points. Putintseva, who hit 15 winners and a miserly 7 unforced errors, sprinted away with the match in the second set, winning the last five games to complete a fine 7-6 6-2 victory, and move into the second round at Wimbledon for the fourth time in her career.

Putintseva admitted in her post-match conference that she never used to like grass courts, but that narrative is changing!

"To play on this amazing court, it's a great experience. I really loved it out there."  
"I remember how much I hated grass courts. With my coach, I was fighting. I was saying that I don't want to play here. I used to play more on clay courts. Clay courts it's more spin, drop shots, serve kick and stuff. When I came on grass, was totally opposite. For my mental, it was like killing myself”. 
 "It took some time."

The 24-year-old is a two-time quarter finalist at Roland Garros, but she has never been past the second round at Wimbledon.

She will attempt to go past that hurdle for the first time in her career when she plays Switzerland’s Viktorija Golubic in the next round.

Wimbledon 209 is live from the All England Club from 1-14 July.


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“Can I leave? I feel like I’m about to cry”, Disappointed Osaka cuts short post-match press conference after first round loss to Putintseva

Naomi Osaka cut a forlorn figure at her post-match press conference after her first-round loss to Yulia Putintseva on Monday.

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