Four-time major champion Naomi Osaka has drawn the ire of her racquet sponsors Yonex after she wrecked her racquet at the Italian Open.
Osaka, who reigns over hard courts, has struggled to find her feet on clay. She lost to Karolina Muchova in the second round of Madrid Open and was ousted in the Round of 32 in Rome.
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The second seed lost her cool, and smashed a racquet as she went down 6-7, 2-6 to Jessica Pegula.
Osaka frustrated. She had a SP but eventually lost the set in the TB. #IBI21 pic.twitter.com/IAHfKGvDGe
— Tennis GIFs 🎾🎥 (@tennis_gifs) May 12, 2021
The Japanese, who is usually composed on court, had thrown her racquet down in frustration during the narrow three-set win against Garbine Muguruza at the Australian Open.
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But her latest act has not gone down too well with sports good giants Yonex, who believe Osaka is setting the wrong example for kids.
“Our racquets are made one by one at our own factory. Therefore, I never want to do something like this,” a Yonex official, who was involved in cracking the deal with Osaka, was quoted as saying by HuffPost.
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“Osaka is an athlete who is already active in the world, so she is influential. I am afraid that the younger generation and kids will imitate this kind of behavior.”
“If such an act occurs again, we may be able to warn you through the management company,” the official added.
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Other high-profile tennis players on Yonex’s roster are Stan Wawrinka and Nick Kyrgios.
Recently, Benoit Paire and Fabio Fognini were also censured by their racquet sponsor, Babolat, for their poor behavior on court.