Naomi Osaka was uncharacteristically knocked out in the US Open women’s third round on Friday night, ending her dreams of defending her US Open title. But what ensued after the loss, chalks out a roadmap for the Japanese tennis player.

Before appearing at a press conference, Osaka had a word with her agent. And then Osaka, pausing every so often as her voice got caught on her words and her eyes filled with tears, said she is thinking about taking another break from tennis “for a while.”

“I feel like for me, recently, when I win, I don’t feel happy, I feel more like a relief. And then when I lose, I feel very sad,” Osaka said.

Osaka lost her calm and composure following a 5-7, 7-6 (2), 6-4 defeat at Flushing Meadows to Leylah Fernandez, an 18-year-old from Canada.

Talking about her loss to the Canadian, who is ranked 73rd in the word, Osaka said: “I don’t think that’s normal.”

“This is very hard to articulate,” she said.

“Basically, I feel like I’m kind of at this point where I’m trying to figure out what I want to do, and I honestly don’t know when I’m going to play my next tennis match,” she added.

“I think I’m going to take a break from playing for a while,” the 23-year-old said.

This was the first Slam tournament for her since she pulled out of the French Open before the second round to take a mental health break.

She also sat out Wimbledon, before participating in the Tokyo Olympics, where she lit the cauldron as one of Japan’s most famous athletes.

Osaka owns four Grand Slam titles, including at the US Open in 2018 — beating Serena Williams in a chaotic final — and a year ago, plus two more on the hard courts of the Australian Open.

When she took a hiatus after Roland Garros, she revealed that she endures waves of anxiety before meeting with the media and has dealt with depression for three years.

(With inputs from Associated Press)