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The tennis world was left in disbelief as the US Open crowd booed Naomi Osaka only moments before she was knocked out of the final Grand Slam of year.
Osaka, seeking her fifth grand slam title and third US Open crown in four years, immediately found herself in a tough match with Canadian teenager Leylah Fernandez after winning a tight first set.
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However, things started to fall apart when she lost four points in a row during the tiebreak.
Unable to close out the match, Osaka stunned viewers after throwing her racquet up to three times in frustration.
She then received a warning when she hit a ball into the crowd.
The unusual outburst from Osaka had many fans scratching their heads.
However, the strangest part was yet to come.
After the brilliant Fernandez took the lead in the deciding set, Osaka needed to break the Canadian to remain in the match.
At 0-30 down and many in the crowd cheering on the youngster, Osaka took some time at the back of the court to regain some composure.
However, many in Arthur Ashe Stadium took exception to her move and proceeded to shower Osaka with boos.
"Wow. The crowd is booing that Osaka took that much time," the commentator said in surprise.
Moments later, Fernandez closed out the match to a huge cheer.
Spectators were not only shocked by Osaka's racquet smashing, but the crowd turning on the four-time Grand Slam champion.
Osaka lost the match but perhaps more surprising, she lost many in the crowd tonight. It’s not just that they were supporting Fernandez. They were booing Osaka. #USOpen
— Hawkeye on Clay (@hawkeyeonclay) September 4, 2021
The fact that the NY crowd was booing Naomi Osaka just goes to show at some point, people will resent you when you stop playing for their entertainment, and start taking your power back. That was pure pettiness on their part.
— Carl (@carleswanson) September 4, 2021
crowd booing osaka is nuts
— vance (@_vancethomas) September 4, 2021
— ibn Bashir (@omoAsake) September 4, 2021
Crowd boos Osaka for stalling time
— Eagles 0-0/Future Bishop Sycamore RB (@Yeezy77_) September 4, 2021
DONT BOO OSAKA YOU IDIOTS
— rosa 💚 (@heathsleftie) September 4, 2021
The crowd boo’d Osaka. Yikes.
— blm. (@brylafa) September 4, 2021
Why is the crowd booing Osaka? Wtf?
— jake the greek (andrey rublev szn) (@kokogadget1) September 4, 2021
Osaka having A huge meltdown on the court. She needs to apologize to her racket! 😜
— Ken Silver (@KenNJMDDE) September 4, 2021
Hate to see Osaka falling apart like this. First a thrown racket, then a ball hit into the crowd in frustration. 😔 #USOpen
— sarah harris 💙 (@SarahHarris249) September 4, 2021
Naomi Osaka had match point against 18-year-old Leylah Fernandez in the 2nd set, blew it and now seems to be losing it; threw her racket several times & now just hit a ball up into the top deck after hitting it into the net. Looks like a meltdown. https://t.co/okrhVcMjS5
— dave smith (@davesportsgod) September 4, 2021
— Meredith Cash (@mercash22) September 4, 2021
— Lakshya Chopra (@LakshyaNotLaksh) September 4, 2021
Osaka entered the US Open with little match practice after withdrawing from Roland Garros and skipping Wimbledon in 2021 to look after her mental health.
After a short Tokyo Olympics campaign, Osaka entered the final grand slam of the year looking to build her way into the competition.
The defending champion won her opening round match before she advanced to the third round of the US Open without having to step onto court after Serbian qualifier Olga Danilovic withdrew due to illness.
Unfortunately, the two-time US Open winner wasn't able to find the form that has seen her dominate hard court competitions over the last few years
US Open crowd divides with Stefanos Tsitsipas boos
The crowd in New York had already created uproar earlier, when boos echoed around the stadium during the tense five-set thriller between Stefanos Tsitsipas and Carlos Alcaraz.
The young Spaniard upset the World No.3, but the crowd was so anti-Tsitsipas that some spectators from other courts took to social media and claimed they could hear the heckling.
This sparked controversy.
The pair put on arguably the match of the tournament, but the crowd were cheering many of Tsistipas' mistakes.
Viewers became divided over the treatment of Tsitsipas, considering he hadn't broken any rules under the Grand Slam laws.
Many felt the booing was excessive and the crowd should have been more partisan considering the high-quality level of tennis on show.
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