- Naomi Osaka says she acted a “bit childish” after throwing her racket to the floor and kicking it during her Australian Open second round match against Zheng Saisai on Wednesday.
- The 22-year-old won the first set comfortably, but lost her temper in the second after Saisai refused to bow out and stormed to a 4-2 lead.
- “My racket just magically flew out of my hand,” she told reporters after. “I just want to play one match without throwing my racket or kicking it. That’s all I want.”
- Fortunately, Osaka says going down by two games got her “really fired up,” and she went on to take the second set 6-4 and win the match.
- She next takes on 15-year-old American Cori “Coco” Gauff on Friday for a place in the fourth round.
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“I couldn’t control it. Sorry Yonex.”
Those were the words of Naomi Osaka in her post match press conference after she launched her racket to the floor and kicked it in anger during her Australian Open second round tie against Zheng Saisai on Wednesday.
Osaka took the first set comfortably 6-2 at the Margaret Court Arena, however became visibly frustrated in the second as Saisai refused to bow out without a fight.
And after having her serve broken by her Chinese opponent, things came to an ugly head, with Osaka throwing her racket to the floor and kicking it.
She also tossed away a ball in frustration, before moving over to her chair, where she sat with a towel over her head.
“My racket just magically flew out of my hand,” the two-time Grand Slam champion told reporters after.
She added: “It was a bit childish. I just want to play one match without throwing my racket or kicking it. That’s all I want.”
Fortunately for 22-year-old, she soon put the meltdown behind her, winning four consecutive games to come from 4-2 down and win the second set 6-2, securing her place in the third round.
“I got really fired up when [Saisai] was up four,” she told the crowd after when asked what her favourite part of the match was.“People started clapping more, so I guess that was the best part.
“I just wanted to fight. I know I’ve been in this position, on this court, before, and I had to play a third set, so I was just thinking I really don’t want to play a third set this time.”
Osaka next takes on 15-year-old American Cori “Coco” Gauff on Friday, January 24, for a place in the fourth round.
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