(CNN) – Naomi Osaka The BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California was interrupted on Saturday by spectators during her match against Veronica Gutermetova.
“Naomi, you suck” the spectator seemed to shout after the first game of the match. The comment brought tears to the eyes of the four-time champion Grand Slam On the pitch
According to the Tennis Channel broadcast, during the break of the game, Osaka asked the referee for a microphone to address the crowd, but the referee rejected the request. It is unclear whether the observer was identified and removed from the scene.
Osaka lost 6-0 6-4 in straight sets.
In the same match in 2001, the Williams family (Serena Williams, her sister Venus and their father Richard) accused themselves of being victims. Racial abuse By the Indian Wells crowd.
The 19-year-old Serena won the final but has not played for Indian Wells for 14 years.
Venus Williams said at her next match press conference that she “listened to everything her father asked.”
Richard Williams described some of the abuse he received for USA Today, “I had trouble suppressing tears. I think Indian Wells insulted America.”
Addressing the crowd after the match, Osaka referred to the 2001 incident.
“To be honest, I’ve interrupted this before,” Osaka said. “It didn’t really bother me.
“But I interrupted here, and I saw a video of Venus and Serena (Williams) interrupting. If you haven’t seen it you should watch it. I do not know why, but it just crossed my mind and it played. A lot.”
Before leaving the court, Osaka thanked the crowd and congratulated Gutermo.
CNN has approached the contest to find out if the commenter and viewer have been identified.
“Crying time in Indian Wells locker room”
Speaking before returning to Indian Wells in 2015, Serena Williams said the experience of 14 years ago “felt like losing the biggest game in history”.
“After the win in 2001, it was hard for me to forget crying for hours in the Indian Wells locker room,” he told Time.com in February 2015.
“Coming back to Los Angeles, I feel like I lost the biggest game in history, not just a game of tennis, but a big fight for equality.
“Emotionally, it seemed easy to stay away. Some say I should not go back. I follow my heart about this.”
Williams advanced to the semifinals when he returned to action, but was forced to withdraw before the match due to a knee injury.