Tennis star Naomi Osaka received over 32,000 abusive tweets in 2021, study finds

Tennis star Naomi Osaka received over 32,000 abusive tweets in 2021, study finds

Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka received over 32,000 abusive tweets in 2021, according to a new study.

With online abuse rife in the sporting world, the Pickswise study analysed every tweet sent to professional tennis players to highlight what athletes are subjected to when opening their apps.

The study found that 24-year-old Osaka was the most abused tennis player on Twitter in 2021, receiving 32,415 mentions that had a negative sentiment.

Osaka was in the headlines last year as she withdrew from the French Open after she was fined for not participating in press conferences due to her mental health.

Sign up to our new free Indy100 weekly newsletter

Despite missing much of the 2021 tour, including the US Open and the Olympics, Serena Williams was still targetted by trolls. Williams was second on the list, having received 18,118 toxic tweets in 2021.

Sir Andy Murray was the most trolled male tennis player in the top ten, receiving 11,732 negative tweets.

Emma Raducanu faced plenty of negative attention after her retirement at Wimbledon last summer on medical grounds, and the 19-year-old had the fourth most abusive tweets directed at her last year (10,094).

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Novak Djokovic also received abuse on social media last year following a visa debacle and a row over his vaccination status. In 2021 he received over 8,000 abusive tweets, and a further 7,354 between January 4 and January 10 of this year as he caused a stir in Australia.

Other “Big 3” members Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal were also subject to social media hate. Federer amassed over 4,200 negative tweets whereas the Spaniard received just over 3,500 abusive tweets.

Here’s how many abusive tweets the top ten most trolled tennis stars received in 2021:

  1. Naomi Osaka: 32,415
  2. Serena Williams: 18,118
  3. Andy Murray: 11,732
  4. Emma Raducanu: 10,094
  5. Novak Djokovic: 8,439
  6. Roger Federer: 4,261
  7. Stefanos Tsitsipas: 4,084
  8. Rafael Nadal: 3,588
  9. Alexander Zverev: 3,454
  10. Simona Halep: 3,181

The publication of the study follows fans claiming there is a double standard in the way tennis treats Novak Djokovic in comparison to Naomi Osaka or Serena Williams.

Meanwhile, the Australian Open has continued without Djokovic.

For live updates on the tournament, follow The Independent’s live blog.

The Conversation (0)