'Creeping me out': Ugly backlash over Naomi Osaka's bikini photos
Naomi Osaka has hit back at fans on social media after copping some nasty backlash over photos of her in a bikini.
The World No.10 has been soaking up the sun during the suspension of the tennis season, posting a number of photos in her bikini on Instagram in recent days.
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However the photos drew some cruel comments from her followers.
“Is that pregnancy or quarantine stomach?” one user asked.
Others questioned whether Osaka’s photos were appropriate considering she’s a role model to young girls all around the world.
“I don't get why you would post half naked pics of yourself,” one person wrote.
“Have some class... you don't need to do this.”
Others told Osaka to cover up and “save that for your husband.”
But the two-time grand slam champion isn’t having it.
The 22-year-old hit back at the naysayers with a defiant statement.
“I just wanna say it’s creeping me out how many people are commenting at me to maintain my “innocent image” and “don’t try to be someone your not”,” she wrote on Twitter.
“You don’t know me, I’m 22, I wear swimsuits to the pool. Why do you feel like you can comment on what I can wear?”
I just wanna say it’s creeping me out how many people are commenting @ me to maintain my “innocent image” and “don’t try to be someone your not”. You don’t know me, I’m 22, I wear swimsuits to the pool. Why do you feel like you can comment on what I can wear?
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) July 26, 2020
The tweet prompted an overwhelming show of support from her followers, with fans encouraging her to wear whatever she wants.
WTA premier event in Tokyo cancelled
Meanwhile, Osaka has been denied the chance to defend her title at the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo after it was cancelled for 2020 due to safety fears amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last week, the men’s ATP Tour and the women's WTA were forced to cancel all of their remaining tournaments in China for this year in the wake of the country's ban on international sporting events due to the pandemic.
“The executive committee, together with the WTA, has been exploring various measures to hold the tournament, such as holding matches without spectators,” the organisers of the Premier level tournament said in a statement.
“But we have come to the tough conclusion that the cancellation of the tournament was the best decision in the interest of public health, especially in light of the concern about the second wave of infection spreading in Japan.”
Japan has largely avoided the mass infections that have killed tens of thousands overseas, but a surge in cases during the past week in Tokyo and other major urban areas has experts worried the country faces a second wave.
The Pan Pacific Open is part of WTA's Asian swing and has been held every year since its 1984 start. It was originally scheduled to be held in September but was postponed to November.
Following the cancellation, the Korea Open in Seoul is the only event left in Asia on WTA's provisional calendar for 2020.
Former World No. 1 Osaka brought cheers to home fans when she won last year's event in Osaka, where she was born.