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Naomi Osaka, who is ranked No. 2 in the world, was upset by world No. 14 Marketa Vondrousova at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on Tuesday.

Osaka was beaten in straight sets 6-1, 6-4 in her home nation of Japan. The Olympics was Osaka's first tournament since withdrawing from the French Open and Wimbledon earlier this year.

She was criticized for avoiding the news media over concerns for her own mental health.

Osaka, 23, made headlines when she declined to speak to the press at the French Open. She was fined $15,000 and pulled out of the French Open in June.

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Osaka ended her boycott by speaking to the media after she arrived at the Olympic Games. She also spoke to the media after her upset loss to Vondrousova.

"I feel like I should be used to (the pressure) by now. But at the same time, the scale of everything has been a bit hard because of the break that I took. I am glad I didn't lose in the first round at least."

When a Japanese journalist asked, "How do you feel?" Osaka fought back tears, then left Ariake Tennis Park, accompanied by her agent.

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Osaka is pictured at the 2021 ESPY Awards in NYC on July 10.

Osaka played down predictions that she would easily win her first Olympic gold medal.

"Well you know, definitely it would mean a lot for me to win gold here but I know it's a process," she said.

"You know, these are the best players in the world and I honestly haven't played in a while so I'm trying to keep it one match at a time. All in all, I'm just really happy to be here."

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Serena Williams dropped a set in her 3rd round victory against Romania's Mihaela Buzarnescu on day 4 of the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris.

Williams beat Buzarnescu 6-3, 5-7, 6-1 to advance to the 3rd round, where she faces 27-year-old Danielle Rose Collins, of St. Petersburg, Florida.

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The 38-year-old mom-of-one is seeded 7th in the Grand Slam tournament. She is chasing an elusive record-tying 24th Grand Slam title.

Williams hasn't won the French Open since 2015 and hasn't made it past the quarterfinals at Roland Garros since giving birth to her daughter in 2017.

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She supported tennis superstar Naomi Osaka who withdrew from the tournament on Monday after she was fined $15,000 for refusing to speak to the press.

Osaka, 23, beat Patricia Maria Tig in the first round on Sunday, and was scheduled to face Ana Bogdan in the second round on Wednesday.

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"I feel for Naomi," Williams told reporters on Monday. "I wish I could give her a hug because I know what it's like. I've been in those positions. We have different personalities.

"People are different and not everyone is the same. I'm thick [skinned] and other people are thin. Everyone is different and everyone handles things differently. You just have to let her handle it the way she wants to and the best way she thinks she can. I think she's doing the best that she can."

Her sister, Venus Williams, was more blunt.

The former No. 1 women's tennis player told reporters:

"I know every single person asking me a question can't play as well as I can and never will. So, no matter what you say or what you write, you'll never light a candle to me."

 

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Tennis superstar Naomi Osaka withdrew from the French Open after she was fined $15,000 and threatened with disqualification for refusing to take part in a press conferences.

The 23-year-old tennis champ, who plays for Japan, was a no-show during her post-match press conference on Sunday, May 30, after defeating Romania's Patricia Maria Tig.

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Tournament officials at Roland Garros threatened Naomi and warned her that higher fines and a possible suspension could be issued if she refused to speak to the press.

Osaka made headlines last week when she issued a statement saying she would skip post-match press conferences at the French Open, citing mental health concerns.

"I've often felt that people have no regard for athletes mental health and this rings very true whenever I see a press conference or partake in one.

"We're often sat there and asked questions that we've been asked multiple times before or asked questions that bring doubt into our minds and I'm just not going to subject myself to people that doubt me."

And in an email to French Open officials Naomi insisted her actions are "100 percent nothing against the French Open or even the press members themselves."

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In a statement posted on social media on Sunday, the world's No. 2 women's tennis player wrote:

"Hey everyone, this isn't a situation I ever imagined or intended when I posted a few days ago. I think now the best thing for the tournament, the other players and my well-being is that I withdraw so that everyone can get back to focusing on the tennis going on in Paris.

"I never wanted to be a distraction and I accept that my timing was not ideal and my message could have been clearer. More importantly I would never trivialize mental health or use the term lightly. 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."

Tournament bosses released a statement that read: "We have advised Naomi Osaka that should she continue to ignore her media obligations, she would be exposing herself to possible further code of conduct infringement consequences."

Officials said "repeat violations" could result in "tougher sanctions including default from the tournament and the trigger of a major offense investigation that could lead to more substantial fines and future Grand Slam suspensions."

Naomi was scheduled to play against Romania's Ana Bogdan during the French Open on Wednesday.

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Naomi Osaka plans to skip press conferences at the upcoming French Open, citing mental health of the athletes.

In a lengthy social media post, Naomi said some sports reporters disregard the mental health of players after a tough loss.

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Naomi said she will skip press conferences and pay the hefty fines ($20,000), which she hopes will go towards a mental health charity.

"Hey everyone -

Hope you're all doing well, I'm writing this to say I'm not going to do any press during Roland Garros. I've often felt that people have no regard for athletes mental health and this rings true whenever I see a press conference or partake in one.

We're often sat there and asked questions that we've been asked multiple times before or asked questions that bring doubt into our minds and I'm just not going to subject myself to people that doubt me. I've watched many clips of athletes breaking down after a loss in the press room and I know you have as well.

I believe that whole situation is kicking a person while they're down and I don't understand the reasoning behind it. Me not doing press is nothing personal to the tournament and a couple journalists have interviewed me since I was young so I have a friendly relationship with most of them.

However, if the organizations think that they can just keep saying, 'do press or you're gonna be fined,' and continue to ignore the mental health of the athletes that are the centerpiece of their cooperation then I just gotta laugh.

Anyways, I hope the considerable amount that I get fined for this will go towards a mental health charity.
xoxo."

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Serena Williams lost in straight sets to Katerina Siniakova in round 2 of the Emilia-Romagna Open in Parma, Italy on Tuesday.

She was the top seed going into the second round when she lost to 18-year-old Katerina, 7-6 (7-4) 6-2.

Serena was invited to play in Parma after losing in the opening round at the Italian Open last week.

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The 39-year-old mom-of-one has less than two weeks to prepare for the start of the French Open on May 30.

Serena has lost the last three Slam final events as she struggles to draw even with Australian tennis legend Margaret Court's record 24 Grand Slams.

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The curvy tennis champ was criticized on Black Twitter for apparently bleaching her skin in preparation for the next chapter of her life after she hangs up her tennis rackets for good.

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One Twitter user wrote: "Man did Serena Williams really bleach her skin? I knew it was going left after she married ol boy," referring to Serena's Caucasian husband, Alexis Ohanian.

Another user tweeted, "Serena Williams bleach her skin smh ... wow that's nasty for real."
 

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Serena Williams abruptly withdrew from the French Open, citing an Achilles heel injury that made it difficult to walk.

Williams withdrew from the French Open three weeks after losing her best chance for a 24th Grand Slam championship at the U.S. Open in New York.

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On Wednesday, Williams, 38, announced she was withdrawing from the French Open and is "struggling to walk" due to the severity of the injury.

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"I really wanted to give an effort here. It's my Achilles that didn't have enough time to properly heal after the (US) Open," Williams said at a press conference. "I was able to get it somewhat better, but just looking long term in this tournament -- will I be able to get through enough matches? For me, I don't think I could. Struggling to walk, so that's kind of a telltale sign I should try to recover."

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Serena Williams won her first tennis title in three years at the Auckland Classic on Sunday. The 23-time Grand Slam singles champion beat unseeded fellow American Jessica Pegula 6-3 6-4 to win her 73rd WTA title overall.

It is Williams' first title since she won the Australian Open while eight weeks pregnant with her daughter Olympia in 2017.

"It feels good. It's been a long time," Williams said. "I think you could see the relief on my face."

"I have been playing for so long and been through so much and I'm happy to be doing something I love," she told reporters.

The 38-year-old mother of one celebrated with her 2-year-old daughter Olympia on the court. Williams will donate her $43,000 prize money and her match-worn tennis dresses to a fund to battle bush fires in Australia.

Williams seeks to tie tennis legend Margaret Court's record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles at the Australian Open, beginning on January 20.

Williams and her doubles partner Caroline Wozniacki were beaten 6-4 6-4 by Asia Muhammad and Taylor Townsend in the women's doubles final.

U.S. President Donald Trump took to Twitter.com to congratulate Williams on her big win. Trump called Williams "a great player and an even greater person."

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Serena Williams was reportedly "worried" about bestie Meghan Markle's presence at her U.S. Open championship match against Canadian tennis phenom Bianca Andreescu, 19.

Bianca beat Serena in straight sets 6-3, 7-5 to win her first ever major title.

Meghan flew to New York City on a budget commercial airline to watch her bestie try to win her 24th Grand Slam title in the U.S. Open women's final on Saturday.

Serena's camp was reportedly "concerned" that Meghan's presence would be a bad omen for Serena, who loses whenever Meghan watches her play.

According to Page Six, Serena, who turns 38 this month, asked her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, if the Duchess should attend the women's final because Serena is "superstitious".

"Serena asked her coach about Meghan coming when she won last night and everyone is worried, as tennis players are very superstitious, and Serena lost when Meghan came to watch her at Wimbledon," a source told Page Six.

A separate source told Page Six, "Serena adores Meghan and she's so excited about her coming to the Open."

But Serena is reportedly so superstitious that she wears the same dirty socks every day of a 2-week tennis tournament.

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Serena's coach (pictured in the player's box with Meghan on Saturday) said Meghan's presence at the Open would not be a distraction for Serena.

"There will be 22,000 people in the stadium, 23,000, actually. One more or less won't change a thing."

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Serena has not been herself since giving birth to daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., 2 years ago.

She reached four major finals since becoming a mother - Wimbledon twice and the US Open twice - but she lost all four times to much younger opponents.

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Mouratoglou practically guaranteed Serena would beat Andreescu. He said Serena is not the same woman who lost to 20-year-old tennis prodigy Naomi Osaka at last year's US Open.

"It's totally different situation now, because now she can move," said Mouratoglou of Serena.

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Mouratoglou blamed Serena's losses on motherhood. Daughter Alexis Jr. is pictured above with Serena's husband, Reddit.com co-founder Alexis Ohanian in January.

"The first problem she had was not an injury, but her body transformed to become a mother," he said. "You don't come back to your previous body, which is the body of a professional top athlete, overnight. So that was the first goal, to be completely in shape and able to perform at the highest level physically."

"She finally got rid of her knee problem, and she was able to run without thinking about her knee. So now it's several weeks in a row, so I think her fitness just went up and up, and I think her movement now is better than I have ever seen since she became a mother."

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Four years ago, then 15-year-old junior tennis player Bianca Andreescu wrote herself a $3.3 million check and declared herself the winner of the U.S. Open.

"I just kept visualizing this moment and I just never let up and kept fighting for my dreams."

On Saturday, Andreescu's dreams became reality as she defeated tennis superstar Serena Williams in straight sets 6-3, 7-5 to win the U.S. Open women's championship at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadows, NY.

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The giddy 19-year-old collected the winner's trophy and the top prize of $3.85 million.

Williams feared Andreescu would be an obstacle to tying Margaret Court's major singles titles record.

During a post-workout interview with ESPN a week ago, Williams pointed to Andreescu's name on the board and predicted the youngster would advance to the U.S. Open final.

On Saturday Andreescu quickly jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the opening game of the 1st set.

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After dropping the first set 3-6, Williams turned to her box, where bestie Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, sat with her coach, and wailed, "I can't get my serve in!"

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The NY crowd roared as Williams rallied from 1-5 down in the 2nd set to even the set at 5-all.

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With Williams serving at 5-6, Andreescu crushed a forehand winner into the corner to end Williams's quest for a record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles title.

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Andreescu is the first Canadian - man or woman - to win a Grand Slam title.

During the post-match interview with ESPN, the giggling teen recalled writing that imaginary US Open check to herself four years ago.

When asked if she wrote herself a check for "3 point whatever million," Andreescu laughed and said, "Well, back then it wasn't that much."

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Andreescu was ranked No. 208 just a year ago. She didn't even qualify to play in the U.S. Open last year.

But after sitting out 3 months with an injured shoulder, Andreescu returned to dominate the women's pro tour.

Andreescu got everyone's attention when she knocked off 8 of the world's top 10 women players on her way to a 8-0 record in just eight months.

Andreescu's impressive victories include a default win in the Rogers Cup championship in Toronto last month when Williams retired with a back injury while down 1-3 in the 1st set.
It was the first Rogers Cup title for a Canadian in 50 years.

Court was not in attendance to watch Williams make another run at her major singles record. The Australian will not be invited back to the US Open after comments she made about the homosexual community in 2017.

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Tennis legend Billie Jean King, who is openly lesbian, was fully supportive of Court's banishment and Williams making history.

"It'll be great if she won this and went on to Australia and broke [the record]. That's my prayer," said King before the final match in the tennis center that bears her name.

 

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Duchess Meghan Markle flew to New York City on a budget commercial airline to watch her bestie, Serena Williams try to win her 24th Grand Slam title in the U.S. Open women's final in Flushing, NY on Saturday.

Meghan was heavily criticized for flying on private jets with her husband Prince Harry after both have expressed environmental concerns in the past.

Williams will take on Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu, who needed all the tools in her powerful arsenal to defeat Switzerland's Belinda Bencic 7-6 (7-3), 7-5 in Thursday's women's quarterfinals.

Bencic, 22, knocked off the defending U.S. Open women's singles champ Naomi Osaka earlier this week.

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Williams, who is nearing retirement at age 37, easily ousted No. 5-seeded Elina Svitolina of Ukraine in the 1st women's quarterfinals match on Thursday to advance to the final.

"To be in yet another final, it seems, honestly, crazy," said Williams, a six-time U.S. Open champion. "But I don't really expect too much less."

Andreescu makes her first ever appearance in the US Open finals. Thursday's win marked her 12th consecutive victory as she became the first Canadian woman to reach the US Open finals.

The 19-year-old is the odds on favorite going into the finals against Williams.

"I don't think anyone [is] surprised," said Bencic when asked if Andreescu's run to the final was unexpected. "Honestly, she won Indian Wells, Toronto. She beat so many great players. I definitely was not surprised. I don't think anyone should be."

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Meghan and Harry, pictured with American power couple Beyonce and Jay-Z in London, were branded as hypocrites for their costly habit of flying in private jets after claiming to be advocates for the environment and campaigning against climate change.

Meghan and Harry's reps argued that the couple's private jets leave a teeny weeny carbon footprint in the earth's atmosphere. And besides that, they only flew on private jets four times in the past 2 weeks.

The British press reports that Meghan silenced her critics by catching a "last minute flight" on a "commercial airliner" out of London to NYC, but they didn't identify the airline carrier.