Tennis stars Novak Djokovic and Venus Williams have spoken out about their mental health and their troubles with dealing with the press after Naomi Osaka’s exit from the Open.
Japanese tennis player, Naomi Osaka, via a post on Twitter, announced her withdrawal from the French Open on May 31 due to a struggle with her mental health.
Osaka decided to leave the tournament after being fined $15,000 and said he could be banned if he did not fulfill his contractual obligation to speak to reporters.
— Naomi Osaka Naomi Osaka (@naomiosaka) 31 May 2021
There has been a wave of support for the world number two player on social media and fellow tennis players have spoken about the issue in press conference interviews today.
American competitor, Venus Williams, says: “How I deal with this is that I know not everyone who asks me a question can play as well as I can. And never will. So, whatever you say, Or whoever writes, you will never hold a candle to me.”
On how Venus Williams deals with the media: “I know everyone who asks me a question isn’t going to play as good as I can. And never will. So, whatever you say, or Whoever writes, you will never hold a candle to me. How do I deal with it? #naomiosaka pic.twitter.com/Hm8cBQ2Rbc
— Dionne Grant (@DionneGrant) 2 June 2021
The Grand Slam has since made a statement offering support to Osaka and pledged to improve the experience for players competing in their competitions.
Interestingly, the tennis community seemed mixed in the aftermath of the 23-year-old’s first decision not to participate in the interview, but after she withdrew, there has been widespread encouragement to stand up for her mental health.
Number one in the men’s world, Novak Djokovic has spoken about Osaka’s courage and bravery in walking away from the competition.
“I sympathize with her and I understand her very well. I was on the wrong edge of the sword several times in my career. I support her; she was brave enough to do that.”
Supporting Naomi, Djokovic said, “I sympathize with her and I understand her very well. I was on the wrong edge of the sword several times in my career. I support her; she’s so much to do. was brave.” ️
Credits: https://t.co/IBf6WvUkEf pic.twitter.com/Elfm1wYf5D
— Padma (@PadmaFlorida) 1 June 2021
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