Denis Shapovalov weighs in on Naomi Osaka being heckled in Indian Wells



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Denis Shapovalov weighs in on Naomi Osaka being heckled in Indian Wells

Canadian tennis star Denis Shapovalov said what happened to Naomi Osaka in Indian Wells was unfortunate but acknowledged there will always be individuals who will try to heckle players. After being heckled by a fan, Osaka was visibly upset, started crying and wanted the heckler to be thrown out of the stadium.

Osaka went on to lose her Indian Wells second round match in straight sets to Veronika Kudermetova. "Obviously most of the people are great. Just certain individuals sometimes. It's difficult. All you can ask is for them to be escorted out.

I think it's just not respectful for the players. But I don't think there's much the umpire of the tournament can do," Shapovalov said, per Mario Boccardi. "It's a shame because there's no use for saying something like that.

Not to speak for Osaka, but I think she's put everything she can into her tennis. When you step out on the court and someone says 'You suck', it sucks. It sucks to hear or feel that. "I think most people that write on Instagram, they don't actually have the balls to face you up front and tell you something.

I think it happens way more on the media. You need to be careful, just not cope with it but find ways to deal with it."

Osaka addressed the crowd after the match

After losing the match in straight sets, Osaka briefly addressed the crowd, and even though she admitted being heckled affected her, she didn't want to take anything from Kudermetova.

"Hi," Osaka said, greeting the crowd. "I just wanted to say thank you. I feel like I cried enough on camera. To be honest, I've gotten heckled before and it didn't really bother me. But heckled here. ... I've watched a video of Serena and Venus getting heckled here and if you've never watched it you should watch.

I don't know why but it went into my head and got replayed a lot. I'm trying not to cry but, I just wanted to say thank you and congratulations [Veronika]. Thank you."