April 2, 2023

Great Indian Mutiny

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Naomi Osaka mocks the spectator at Indian Wells during the loss

Naomi Osaka mocks the spectator at Indian Wells during the loss

Naomi Osakastunned and in tears after a spectator yelled, “Naomi, you suck” after she lost the first of her second-round match against Veronika Kudermitova in BNP Paribas Bank is open On Saturday night, she said the taunts shook her because it reminded her of the racist insults that were directed at her Serena and Venus Williams in the same tournament in 2001.

Osaka, Four-time Grand Slam singles champion who was open about her mental struggles Taking a break from competition last year, she did not regain her balance on Saturday at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Kudermetova won the match 6-0, 6-4.

Venus, Serena Williams and their father, Richard, were mocked here in 2001 after Venus withdrew from the sisters’ scheduled semi-final match at the last minute due to a knee injury. The crowd booed Serena as she took the field in the final against Kim Clijsters and booed Venus and Richard as they went to their seats to watch Serena go into the final. Serena didn’t play here again until 2015. And Venus returned in 2016.

After hearing a cry from a stand at Stadium 1 on Saturday, Osaka asked the chair referee to give the microphone to address the crowd. This request was denied. I also spoke to the tournament supervisor after the first set.

Osaka was allowed to speak after the match. When she did, she paused several times to gather her thoughts.

“I just wanted to say thank you. I feel like I’ve cried enough in front of the camera,” said Osaka, whose father is black and whose mother is Japanese.

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“To be honest, I’ve been harassed before. It didn’t really bother me, but it’s like being harassed here. I watched a video of Venus and Serena getting harassed here, and if you’ve never seen it, you should. I don’t know why, but it just crossed my mind and I’m repeating it.” Much.

“I try not to cry. I just want to say thanks and congratulations [to Kudermetova]. Just a thank you.”