Naomi Osaka has played only once since pulling out of the French Open ©Getty Images

Naomi Osaka, who lit the Olympic Cauldron at Tokyo 2020 but has only played in one tournament since withdrawing from the French Open amid controversy over her stance of not fulfilling all media obligations to guard her mental well-being, was left in tears at a pre-Cincinnati Masters press conference.

The Japanese star was visibly upset following a question about how she can balance outside interests and dealing with the media.

The question appeared innocuous, and relevant, given Osaka has pledged to donate her prize money from the Cincinnati Masters to relief efforts for the devastating earthquake in Haiti which killed more the 1,400 people, but Osaka's agent slammed the journalist in question as a "bully".

Osaka's press conference was paused, but she later returned to answer more questions.

Before the French Open in May, the world number two said her mental health was adversely impacted by certain lines of questioning and announced she would not do post-match press conferences at the second Grand Slam of the year.

Osaka pulled out after round one following a warning from organisers that she faced expulsion if media duties were not fulfilled, and also decided not to play at Wimbledon.

American prodigy Coco Gauff awaits in Cincinnati, where Osaka is in action for the first tome since the Olympics.

The tournament is underway in Ohio as the Lindner Family Tennis Center hosted the men's and women's singles events.

Two-time champion Sir Andy Murray of Britain, who has previously defended Osaka, made the most of a main-draw wildcard to claim a 6-4, 6-4, victory against Frenchman Richard Gasquet in the men's singles.

Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime overcame a slow start against Márton Fucsovics, beating the Hungarian 7-6 (7-0), 6-3.

The 15th-seeded Belgian David Goffin fell to a straight-sets defeat by Argentine Guido Pella 6-3, 6-3, as he served five double faults in the process.

There were three other seeded players in action as Pella's compatriot, number 10 Diego Schwartzman, beat British number one Dan Evans 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.

Italy's Jannik Sinner, seeded 11th and celebrating his 20th birthday yesterday, comfortably beat Federico Delbonis of Argentina 6-2, 7-5 as he won 74 per cent of points on his first serve.

Andy Murray hit 14 aces in his win over Richard Gasquet ©Getty Images
Andy Murray hit 14 aces in his win over Richard Gasquet ©Getty Images

Australia's Alex de Minaur, the 14th seed, rebounded after a dreadful first set to overpower Filip Krajinović of Serbia 0-6, 6-4, 6-4.

Meanwhile in the women's snigles, former world number one Angelique Kerber of Germany breezed past Greece's Maria Sakkari 6-2, 6-2.

Czech ninth seed Barbora Krejčíková comfortably beat Russia's Daria Kasatkina 6-3, 6-2, while her countrywoman Petra Kvitová also advanced following a tight battle with American Madison KeysDaria Kasatkina, which ended 7-5, 6-4.

Jessica Brady of the United States progressed 6-3, 7-6 (7-3) against Ekaterina Alexandrova and 15th seed Elise Mertens of Belgium beat Argentina's Nadia Podoroska 6-3, 6-4.