Osaka considers break after US Open loss

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Naomi Osaka says she's thinking of taking another break from tennis "for a while," after being eliminated in the third round of the US Open by Canadian teenager Leylah Fernandez.

At her post-match press conference, Osaka looked over to her agent and said she wanted to tell the world what the two of them had discussed privately in an Arthur Ashe Stadium hallway after her title defence ended with a racket-tossing, composure-missing, lead-evaporating loss.

His reply: "Sure."

And so Osaka, pausing every so often as her voice got caught on her words and her eyes filled with tears, said she is thinking of taking another break from tennis "for a while."

"How do I go around saying this? I feel like for me recently, like, when I win I don't feel happy. I feel more like a relief. And then when I lose, I feel very sad, said Osaka, after the 5-7 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 loss. "I don't think that's normal."

The moderator in charge of the interview with reporters attempted to cut things off, but Osaka said she wanted to continue.

"This is very hard to articulate," she said, resting her left cheek in her hand. "Basically, I feel like I'm kind of at this point where I'm trying to figure out what I want to do, and I honestly don't know when I'm going to play my next tennis match."

Crying, she lowered her black visor over her eyes and offered an apology, then patted her palms on both cheeks.

"Yeah," Osaka added, "I think I'm going to take a break from playing for a while."

There were no signs of trouble in a routine opening set won by Osaka before things began to unravel late in the second when Fernandez broke her at 6-6 to force a tie-break.

As the Canadian took control Osaka repeatedly slammed her racquet and then left the court.

Umpire Alison Hughes was willing to give Osaka a pass for those acts that would have gotten many players a code violation, but in the third set with Fernandez serving to go up 2-0 she finally issued a warning when the former world No.1 angrily smashed the ball into the stands.

Many players have smashed racquets and balls during matches, even Osaka on occasion but the 23-year-old has mostly maintained cool composure.

"I'm not really sure why," said Osaka when asked about her lack of restraint. "I was telling myself to be calm, but I feel like maybe there was a boiling point.

"Normally I feel like I like challenges. But recently I feel very anxious when things don't go my way, and I feel like you can feel that.

"I'm not really sure why it happens the way it happens now.

"You could kind of see that. I was kind of like a little kid."

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