Naomi Osaka has an even-temperament on the court and is able to navigate the most difficult of situations. One doesn't have to look far into her track record to know she has the mentality of a champion. Last year at this same time, she found herself in an US Open final like no other. With no fans in attendance, she trailed 6-1 against two-time major champion Victoria Azarenka. It seemed there was no stopping the Belarusian that day, but using her calm and collected demeanor she came back to lift her second US Open title.

On Friday night in Arthur Ashe stadium though, the 23-year-old was clearly not her typical self and her emotions came pouring out. It was an unusual sight to see as she often looked up towards her box with sadness as if she felt helpless, even though she secured the first set against 18-year-old Leylah Fernandez.

Trailing in the second set tiebreaker, Osaka thew her racquet across her side of the court and then the very next point slammed it into the ground. The crowd erupted and it turned into a slight booing of Osaka, which surely didn't help. She appeared to be suffering from every groundstroke she hit, every point she sunk deeper and deeper.


It didn't end there as she launched a ball into the stands in anger early in the third set as well.

The past year has been a rollercoaster for the Japanese, having claimed last year's US Open and the 2021 Australian Open, but also revealing her struggles with anxiety and depression following her withdrawal at Roland Garros.

"Recently, when I win I don't feel happy, I feel more like a relief. When I lose I feel very sad and I don't think that's normal," she told press following the US Open third-round.

Underneath the bright lights of Arthur Ashe, Osaka's unhappiness with the sport and beyond lit up like never before. Falling 7-5, 6-7(2), 6-4, the world No. 3 is struggling with something bigger than tennis and it's unknown when she will return to competition.