Naomi Osaka and Megyn Kelly had a Twitter volley worthy of a grand slam final on Monday — after the journalist called out the tennis pro for appearing on magazine covers like the 2021 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue despite saying she was taking a break from the spotlight.

The tiff started when the journalist jumped on criticism of Osaka gracing the front of mags after refusing to speak to media at the French Open and bowing out of the tournament in May, citing bouts with depression and social anxiety.

The former NBC News host responded to a tweet from conservative commentator Clay Travis that read: “Since saying she’s too introverted to talk to the media after tennis matches, Naomi Osaka has launched a reality show, a Barbie, and now is on the cover of the SI swimsuit issue.”

Kelly, also an ex-Fox News anchor, shared the tweet and added, “Let’s not forget the cover of (& interview in) Vogue Japan and Time Mag!”

The snipe caught the attention of Osaka, who replied by taking her own swipe at Kelly, saying that she shot the SI cover and others last year — before she decided to skip the annual clay-court tournament in Paris.

Osaka on the cover of the 2021 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
Osaka on the cover of the 2021 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
Yu Tsai/Sports Illustrated
Osaka previously withdrew from the French Open to deal with mental health issues.
Osaka previously withdrew from the French Open to deal with mental health issues.
Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

“Seeing as you’re a journalist I would’ve assumed you would take the time to research what the lead times are for magazines, if you did that you would’ve found out I shot all of my covers last year,” she wrote to Kelly on Twitter.

“Instead your first reaction is to hop on here and spew negativity, do better Megan.”

Tennis star Naomi Osaka got into an argument on Twitter with journalist Megyn Kelly over Osaka's latest magazine cover.
Tennis star Naomi Osaka got into an argument on Twitter with journalist Megyn Kelly over Osaka’s latest magazine cover.AP

Osaka, 23, then apparently blocked Kelly on the social media app.

“Poor @naomiosaka blocked me while taking a shot at me (guess she’s only tough on the courts),” Kelly wrote in a tweet. “She is apparently arguing that she shot her many covers b/4 publicly claiming she was too socially anxious to deal w/press. Truth is she just doesn’t like Qs she can’t control. Admit it.”

Megyn Kelly pointed out on Twitter that Osaka had appeared on multiple magazine covers since leaving the spotlight.
Megyn Kelly pointed out on Twitter that Osaka had appeared on multiple magazine covers since leaving the spotlight.
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Osaka is one of three cover stars of this year’s SI Swimsuit Issue, on sale July 22. She is the first black athlete to cover the iconic magazine issue. The two-time US Open champion also landed the cover of Vogue Japan’s August issue and graced the front of Vogue Hong Kong’s July 2021 digital issue.

She was on the cover of Time this month, writing an essay for the mag about her decision to withdraw from Roland Garros, after she was fined for refusing to take part in mandated news conferences in order to protect her mental health.

The athlete — who recently came out with a best-selling Barbie doll — addressed her mental health battles in her Netflix documentary “Naomi Osaka,” which premiered July 16.



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