Andy Murray's telling response to 'shameful' Naomi Osaka drama
Andy Murray has weighed-in on the drama that saw Naomi Osaka break down in tears during her Indian Wells match.
The Japanese star was rattled early in the first set when someone in the crowd repeatedly yelled "Naomi, you suck."
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After falling 0-3 down her emotions spilled over and Osaka was reduced to tears as she sat court side.
Osaka then approached the chair umpire and asked if she could address the fan over the microphone, but her request was denied.
The 24-year-old quickly pulled herself together and resumed the match, and even though she raised her game in the second set she could find no answer for Veronika Kudermetova and bowed out 6-0, 6-4.
Following the match, Osaka explained that she hasn't been bothered by hecklers in the past, but this time it was different.
And since the incident has made headlines, Murray as weighed-in.
Andy Murray sympathises with Naomi Osaka
The three-time grand slam champion said he sympathised with Osaka over the incident and has often questioned why fans are allowed to get away with that sort of behaviour.
"It's a difficult one," Murray told reporters after his second-round loss.
"I've often thought watching certain sports, I wouldn't say I've often seen it loads in tennis ... but if I watch a football or a soccer match and a player's going to take throw-in or a corner kick and the crowd are just hurling insults at those individuals.
"I always think, how is that allowed? Like, you can't do that."
The Scot said such heckling and behaviour wouldn't be allowed in a work environment or in public.
Murray pointed out that while the behaviour is unfortunate, heckling is still a part of most sports.
"Obviously I feel for Naomi, that it upset her a lot but yeah, it's always been something that's been part of sport, I guess, as well," Murray added.
"So, you know, you have to, I guess, be prepared for that in some ways and be able to tolerate it because it does happen regularly across all sports."
At the Indian Wells, Naomi Osaka was brought to tears by a heckler during her match against Veronika Kudermetova.
Someone in the crowd yelling "Naomi, you suck".
This is disappointing and shameful for the game. #NaomiOsaka #BNPPO22 #BNPParibasOpen #IndianWells pic.twitter.com/piYfa6njNb
— FUM (@Edirined) March 13, 2022
Speaking on court after the match, Osaka said it wasn't that she found the comment so hurtful but because she was reminded of how Venus and Serena Williams were targeted at Indian Wells in 2001.
After Venus withdrew from her scheduled semi-final against Serena with a knee injury, the crowd booed Venus and father Richard when they took their seats to watch the final.
Fans jeered Serena as the match went on, while Richard said he was the target of racial slurs.
The Williams sisters famously boycotted Indian Wells for 14 years after the incident, only returning to the California tournament in recent years.
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