Naomi Osaka, Roger Federer: Extent of social media abuse of tennis stars exposed

Naomi Osaka was the tennis player who received the highest amount of abusive tweets in 2021, a study by Pickswise has found

Naomi Osaka was the tennis player who received the highest amount of abusive tweets in 2021, a study by Pickswise has found.

To highlight what tennis stars have to deal with on social media, Pickswise analysed every tweet sent to the top players in the last 12 months.

The 24-year-old Osaka was the most abused tennis player on Twitter in 2021, receiving 32,415 abusive messages.

Osaka made headlines last year when she declined to partake in media duties at the French Open, subsequently withdrawing from the tournament due to the uproar stemming from her decision.

The four-time Grand Slam winner then stepped away from the court for four months after the US Open in September.

She has now returned to competition and is through to the third round of the Australian Open.

Serena Williams got the highest amount of abusive tweets behind Osaka, receiving 18,118 toxic messages in total.

Like Osaka, Williams missed a large amount of 2021, withdrawing from the US Open and the Olympic Games through injury.

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

After rocketing to international stardom following her improbable victory at the US Open in September, Raducanu found herself fourth in Pickswise’s study, receiving 10,094 abusive messages on Twitter.

The 19-year-old had been the centre of a storm during Wimbledon, when she pulled out of her round of 16 clash against Ajla Tomljanović with breathing difficulties. 

Men’s world number Novak Djokovic placed fifth on the list, receiving 8,439 toxic tweets in 2021, but Pickswise also noted he had a further 7,354 messages between January 4th and 10th 2022.

This came after the Serbian caused a furore in the run-up to the Australian Open, arriving for the Grand Slam at the start of January but failing to meet the country’s federal coronavirus requirements.

Novak Djokovic was unsurprisingly among the most abused tennis players of 2021

Djokovic had received a medical exemption to play in Melbourne as an unvaccinated player, but he later admitted that incorrect information had been included on his immigration forms.

After a failed appeal process, the 20-time Grand Slam winner was deported from Australia and he returned home to Serbia.

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal were also subject to social media hate in 2021. Federer amassed over 4,200 negative tweets, while Nadal received just over 3,500 abusive tweets.

Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev and Simona Halep were also named in the top 10, receiving 4,084, 3,454 and 3,181 abusive tweets respectively. 

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