World No.2 Naomi Osaka has been making the headlines for all the wrong reasons lately in the tennis world. However, the Japanese girl was bestowed with the best Female Athlete of the year award at the ESPY’s on Saturday.
“I know this year’s been really — it hasn’t even finished — but it’s been really tough for a lot of us and, for me, I just want to say I really love you guys. This is my first ESPYs, so it’s really cool to be surrounded by all these incredible athletes. I think all of you guys are really cool and I watch some of you guys on TV, so it’s really surreal to be here,” Osaka said.
The 23-year-old returned to big stage on Saturday after withdrawing from the 2021 French Open. Osaka also opted out of the Wimbledon Championships, citing mental issues and anxiety. The four-time Grand Slam champion shook the tennis world by opting out of the mandatory press conference in Paris and even issued a statement blaming the media for putting pressure on the athletes.
Naomi Osaka- A global superstar
In 2020, Osaka also led the awareness about racial injustice and encouraged many other athletes towards the Black Lives movement ahead of the US Open. The highly-paid Osaka won the Australian Open at the start of the year and will be seen defending her crown at the US Open in New York later in the year.
A few days ago, Japanese girl also wrote a short essay at the The Times titled ‘It’s OK Not to Be OK’. “This was never about the press, but rather the traditional format of the press conference. I’ll say it again for those at the back: I love the press; I do not love all press conferences.”