Tennis phenom Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from the French Open to focus on her mental health.
The 23-year-old grand champion picked up her first win of the tournament over the weekend after announcing she wouldn’t be doing press at all through the tournament.
Despite her announcement, the tournament hit her with a $15,000 fine when she skipped her post-match presser and went so far as to threaten the young star.
Not to be intimidated, Osaka has decided to step away from the tournament, stating on Twitter: “The best thing for the tournament, the other players and my well-being is that I withdraw so that everyone can get back to focusing on the tennis going on in Paris.”
The star goes on to explain, “The truth is I have suffered long bouts of depressions since the US Open in 2018 and I have had a really hard time coping with that.”
Mental health is certainly not something to mess around with, and some of Osaka’s fellow athletes and friends have spoken out in support of the star.
Current American tennis star Coco Grauff commented, “Stay Strong I admire your vulnerability.” Serena Williams said she felt for Naomi in her Monday press conference. According to the Associated Press, Williams said, “You just have to let her handle it the way she wants to and the best way she thinks she can. That’s the only thing I can say: I think she is doing the best she can.”
Some of the sports legends are backing Osaka as well. 12-time Grand Slam Champion Billie Jean King tweeted: “It’s incredibly brave that Naomi Osaka has revealed her truth about her struggle with depression. Right now, the important thing is that we give her the space and time she needs. We wish her well.”
It’s incredibly brave that Naomi Osaka has revealed her truth about her struggle with depression.— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) May 31, 2021
Right now, the important thing is that we give her the space and time she needs.
We wish her well.
While 18 times Singles Champion Martina Navratilova tweeted, ” I am so sad about Naomi Osaka. I truly hope she will be ok. As athletes we are taught to take care of our body, and perhaps the mental & emotional aspect gets short shrift. This is about more than doing or not doing a press conference. Good luck Naomi – we are all pulling for you!”
Photo via zhukovsky/Deposit Photos