World No. 1 Daniil Medvedev offered empathy to Naomi Osaka as he insists he understands what the Japanese was going through her Indian Wells second round match. At the start of the second round meeting between Osaka and Veronika Kudermetova, a fan started heckling the Japanese and reportedly yelles "Naomi, you suck!" Osaka was visibly upset, started crying and wanted the fan thrown out of the stadium.
Osaka was extremely shaken during the first set as Kudermetova claimed a 6-0 6-4 win over the four-time Grand Slam champion. Medvedev himself wasn't happy with the crowd a month and a half ago when the whole stadium was against him during the Australian Open final against Rafael Nadal.
"I feel for Naomi. I myself did not feel very well in Australia. I can imagine the fans thinking, 'Damn, they're making millions, they should be prepared for anything' But we remain human. We all make mistakes. Sometimes we feel bad.
Sometimes we feel good. I can understand that Naomi reacts badly to hearing that," Medvedev said, per We Love Tennis.
Osaka addressed the crowd after the match
Early in the first set, Osaka asked the chair umpire to be given a microphone to address the crowd.
The chair umpire denied her request but Osaka was given a chance to address the crowd after the loss to 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."