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Tennis stars Novak Djokovic and Venus Williams have spoken out about their troubles with mental health and dealing with the press after Naomi Osaka pulled out of Open
The Japanese tennis player, Naomi Osaka, announced that she would be withdrawing from the French Open on the 31st of May due to struggles with her mental health through a post on Twitter.
Osaka chose to leave the tournament after she was fined $15,000 and told she may be banned if she did not complete her contractual obligation of speaking to journalists.
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) May 31, 2021
A wave of support has been shown to world number two throughout social media and fellow tennis players have spoken on the issue in press conference interviews today.
American competitor, Venus Williams says: “How I deal with it is that I know every single person asking me a question can’t play as well as I can. And never will. So, no matter what you say, or what you write, you’ll never hold a candle to me.”
Venus Williams on how she deals with media: “I know every single person asking me a question can’t play as well as I can. And never will. So, no matter what you say, or what you write, you’ll never hold a candle to me.That’s how I deal with it” #NaomiOsaka pic.twitter.com/Hm8cBQ2Rbc
— Dionne Grant (@DionneGrant) June 2, 2021
Grand Slams have since made a statement offering support to Osaka and pledged to improve the experience of players competing in their competitions.
Interestingly the tennis community seemed to be mixed after the 23-year-olds first decision to not partake in interviews but after her withdrawal, widespread encouragement has been shown for her standing up for her mental health.
The men’s world number one, Novak Djokovic has spoken about Osaka’s boldness and bravery in stepping away from the competition.
“I empathize with her and I understand her very well. I was on the wrong edge of the sword many times in my career. I support her; she was very brave to do that.”
Djokovic supporting Naomi “I empathize with her and I understand her very well. I was on the wrong edge of the sword many times in my career. I support her; she was very brave to do that.” ❤️
Credit: https://t.co/IBf6WvUkEf pic.twitter.com/Elfm1wYf5D
— Padma (@PadmaFlorida) June 1, 2021