Naomi Osaka has exposed a fan’s shocking abuse on social media after her loss in Dubai.
The 21-year-old Japanese star suffered an upset loss on Tuesday in her first match since claiming her second grand slam title in Melbourne last month.
She fell 6-3-6-3 to World No.67 Kristina Mladenovic at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, making a horror start to life without her former coach.
In the hours after her match, Osaka took to Instagram to post a screenshot of the vile abuse she’d received from a ‘fan’.
The user ‘ergo505’ had written “I wish you get terrible injury” over and over, while also calling her “scum” and hoping she became disabled.
Osaka captioned the screenshot “every time without fail.”
The shocking abuse echoes the sentiments of John Millman at the US Open last year, when he said he was expecting to receive some hate mail for beating Roger Federer.
“It’s a bit of a headache and a bit of a blight at the moment that a lot of players have to deal with,” Millman told AAP.
“You try to ignore it, but there’s a fair few idiots out there that something possesses them to get online.
“You get that always whenever you have a loss.”
Millman said a lot of the abuse came from fans who’d lost money betting on matches.
Osaka in tears after shock loss
Osaka wiped away tears at her post-match media conference as she answered questions over her decision to part company with coach Sascha Bajin, who helped her to the US Open and Australian Open titles and the top ranking.
“I don’t really like attention. So it’s been a little tough,” Osaka said.
“No offence to you guys but I’m pretty sure, as time goes on, you guys will stop talking about it.
“But for now, It’s like the biggest tennis news. It’s a little bit hard because I feel like people are staring at me – and not in like a good way.”
Earlier in the week Osaka had felt compelled to address the split with Bajin in an interview she did for the WTA.
“Everyone thinks it was a money-related issue, but it wasn’t,” Osaka said. “That’s one of the most hurtful things I’ve ever heard.
“I travel with everyone on my team, I see them more than my family. I would never do that to them.”
“My reason is I wouldn’t put success over my happiness – that’s my main thing. I’m not going to sacrifice that just to keep a person around.”