'Didn’t feel like me': Naomi Osaka reveals unique interview approach

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·Sports Reporter
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Naomi Osaka (pictured) during a press conference.
Naomi Osaka (pictured) said she is learning to embrace her differences after her battles with mental health, which led to a break from tennis. (Getty Images)

Naomi Osaka has revealed she refused media training at the beginning of her career as she wanted to show her personality in press conferences.

Osaka caused international headlines after withdrawing from the French Open and skipping Wimbledon to take time away from tennis after revealing her struggles with press conferences.

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Following the Olympics, Osaka returned to the WTA Tour but broke down in tears during a press conference after an "aggressive" line of questioning from a reporter in Cincinnati.

Now, Osaka has gone into depth to why she has a unique style of interviews.

The four-time Grand Slam champion said she refused media training earlier in her career in order to let her unique personality shine.

However, she acknowledged this was never going to suit everyone.

"I never wanted media training," she told Women's Health Magazine.

"Because I didn’t want to change my personality to offer a canned response that didn’t feel like me."

Naomi Osaka admits to embracing her voice

Ever since her maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open in 2018, Osaka has struggled with the spotlight.

However, after her recent break from tennis for her own mental health, Osaka has come to embrace her role as a leading voice for racial injustice and now mental health.

Osaka caused waves in sport after shining a spotlight on the struggles many athletes feel in the public eye.

The World No.3 said she has tried to embrace her role, despite naturally growing up as an introvert.

But, one of the biggest lessons she wanted others to understand from her position is the toll pressure can take on any athlete.

Naomi Osaka (pictured) celebrates after defeating Cori Gauff 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 during Western & Southern Open.
Naomi Osaka (pictured) celebrates after defeating Cori Gauff 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 during Western & Southern Open. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

"I hope I was able to help some people and for them to see that even athletes are still humans like the rest of us," she added.

"And we all are dealing with something in our lives."

Last year, Osaka used her platform to become one of the leading voices in the Black Lives Matter movement.

She said recent events in her life has helped her to come to realise she wants to be remembered as someone who did more than just play tennis.

Readers seeking support and information about mental health can contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636.

Watch 'Mind Games', the new series from Yahoo Sport Australia exploring the often brutal mental toil elite athletes go through in pursuit of greatness:

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