STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Mental health: Osaka says Djokovic, Michelle Obama, others reached out after her withdrawal from French Open

She said before the French Open began that she would not speak to the press during that tournament, saying those interactions were sometimes uncomfortable and would create doubts.

Published: 08th July 2021 06:35 PM  |   Last Updated: 08th July 2021 07:25 PM   |  A+A-

Naomi Osaka, of Japan (Photo | AP)

By PTI

NEW YORK: Naomi Osaka says former first lady Michelle Obama and sports stars Novak Djokovic, Michael Phelps and Stephen Curry were among those who reached out to offer support after she withdrew from the French Open to take a mental health break.

In an essay in Time magazine's Olympic preview issue, on sale Friday, Osaka, a four-time Grand Slam champion and former No.1-ranked player, wrote that she hopes "we can enact measures to protect athletes, especially the fragile ones," and suggests they be allowed to sometimes skip media obligations without punishment.

"There can be moments for any of us where we are dealing with issues behind the scenes," the 23-year-old Osaka said.

"Each of us as humans is going through something on some level."

She said before the French Open began that she would not speak to the media during that tournament, saying those interactions were sometimes uncomfortable and would create doubts for her on the court.

After her first-round victory in Paris, Osaka was fined $15,000 for skipping her mandatory news conference and threatened by the four Grand Slam tournaments with the possibility of disqualification or suspension if she continued to avoid the media.

Osaka then pulled out of that tournament, saying she deals with anxiety before news conferences and has experienced bouts of depression in recent years.

"Believe it or not, I am naturally introverted and do not court the spotlight," she wrote for Time.

"I always try to push myself to speak up for what I believe to be right, but that often comes at a cost of great anxiety."

She hasn't played since Paris, also sitting out Wimbledon, which ends Sunday.

She will return to competition at the Tokyo Olympics, which open July 23, and where she will represent her native Japan.

"It has become apparent to me that literally everyone either suffers from issues related to their mental health or knows someone who does," Osaka wrote in her essay, adding later: "I do hope that people can relate and understand it's OK to not be OK, and it's OK to talk about it."

On the topic of news conferences, Osaka said she thinks the "format itself is out of date and in great need of a refresh."

She also proposed giving tennis players "a small number of 'sick days' per year, where you are excused from your press commitments without having to disclose your personal reasons. I believe this would bring sport in line with the rest of society."



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp