Entertainment Sports Naomi Osaka Brought to Tears by Heckler at Indian Wells Tennis Competition: 'It Went into My Head' During the competition on Saturday, a spectator reportedly yelled out, "Naomi, you suck" By Nicholas Rice Nicholas Rice Instagram Twitter Nicholas Rice is a Staff Editor for PEOPLE Magazine. He began working with the brand as an Editorial Intern in early 2020, before later transitioning to a freelance role, and then staff positions soon after. Nicholas writes and edits anywhere between 7 to 9 stories per day on average for PEOPLE, spanning across each vertical the brand covers. Nicholas has previous work experience with Billboard, POPSUGAR, Bustle and Elite Daily. When not working, Nicholas can be found playing with his 5 dogs, listening to pop music or eating mozzarella sticks. People Editorial Guidelines Published on March 13, 2022 01:24 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Naomi Osaka was brought to tears by a heckler while competing at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, over the weekend. The 24-year-old tennis pro was taking part in the competition on Saturday, where she went up against competitor Veronika Kudermetova. Amid the first round, a spectator reportedly yelled out, "Naomi, you suck," which ESPN reported brought the young athlete to tears. The outlet said that Osaka asked for the fan to be kicked out, and later asked for a microphone to address the crowd — two requests which were rejected. Naomi Osaka Hopes Her Admission About Mental Health Helps People See 'Athletes Are Still Humans' The New York Post said tournament officials determined they would kick the heckler out only if they continued to make further comments during the match. The outlet added it did not happen a second time. Clive Brunskill/Getty Continuing to play in the competition, Osaka went on to lose against Kudermetova, 24, in straight sets 6-0, 6-4. After her defeat, ESPN reported that Osaka was then allotted time to address the crowd, where she spoke about the heckler and how their comments affected her gameplay. She related the moment to a similar instance that Venus and Serena Williams experienced at the same venue years prior. Want to get the biggest stories from PEOPLE every weekday? Subscribe to our new podcast, PEOPLE Every Day, to get the essential celebrity, entertainment and human interest news stories Monday through Friday. "To be honest, I've gotten heckled before, it didn't really bother me," Osaka said, per the outlet. "But [being] heckled here, I watched a video of Venus and Serena getting heckled here, and if you've never watched it, you should watch it." "I don't know why, but it went into my head, and it got replayed a lot," added Osaka. "I'm trying not to cry." RELATED VIDEO: Grand Slam Leaders Pledge to Address Tennis Players' Mental Health Concerns, Commend Naomi Osaka Osaka was taking part in her first tournament since the Australian Open in January. The tennis player had previously withdrawn from various other tennis events after sharing her mental health struggles last year. Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. Speaking with PEOPLE in August 2021, Osaka said, "I never thought about speaking my mind as something that was difficult. I really just wanted to express my true feelings and be honest with not only myself but to others about struggles. The more we can all be open the more we can help each other be better." "It has been really nice to feel supported not only by my family, team and brand partners, but also by the fans and fellow athletes," she added. "I was most surprised to hear from so many people that they, too, had been struggling but were afraid to speak up."