Serena Williams offers support to Naomi Osaka after Roland Garros withdrawal
Serena Williams, an idol of Naomi Osaka in her tennis career, has supported the second world star after deciding to withdraw from the 2021 French Open.
Shortly after Osaka announced that she would leave the French OpenWilliams, who comes off a first-round victory at Rolland-Garros, said she felt for Osaka and knew what it was like to face the media pressure, according to New York Times reporter Ben Rothenberg.
“The only thing I feel is that I feel for Naomi,” Williams said. “I feel like I wish I could give her a hug because I know what it is. Like I said, I’ve been in these positions.”
Osaka announced on Twitter Monday that she would come out of Roland Garros this year and that she “would get away from the court for a little while”.
In her article, she revealed that she has suffered “long bouts of depression” since the 2018 US Open and that speaking to the press after matches can bring “huge waves of anxiety.”
Williams said everyone handles situations differently and “you just have to let her handle things like [Osaka] wants, in the best way that she thinks she can. “
Williams later added, when asked if the WTA and Grand Slam tournaments do enough to help players worry about their mental health: “You really have to move forward and put in the effort, like in n ‘whatever’.
“You have to be able to put in an effort and say, I need help with A, B, C and D, and talk to someone. I think it’s so important to have a checkout. resonating, whether it’s someone in the WTA or someone in your life. Maybe it’s someone you talk to once a week, “Williams said.” I ‘ I’ve been in that position too, I’ve definitely had the opportunity to talk to people, to get rid of some things that I can’t necessarily tell anyone in my family or anyone I know.
“For me it is important to be aware and to take this step.”
Osaka started the tournament with saying she wouldn’t talk to the press because she felt that people often had no regard for the mental health of athletes. In response, the the chefs of the four Grand Slam tournaments fined him $ 15,000 and noted that she could face a Roland Garros default and face possible Grand Slam violations.
Williams was the last athlete to offer his support to Osaka. Usain Bolt, Venus Williams and Coco Gauff have all left messages of support for the tennis star amid his decision to leave Roland Garros.
– Stephen Curry (@ StephenCurry30) May 31, 2021
stay strong ❤️ I admire your vulnerability
– Coco Gauff (@CocoGauff) May 31, 2021
According to a report from Yahoo! Sports, The President of the French Tennis Federation, Gilles Moretton, told a press conference that Osaka’s withdrawal from Roland Garros was “unfortunate” and said the French Open wished him “the best and the fastest recovery possible, and we look forward to having Naomi in our tournament next year. “
“Like all Grand Slam tournaments, the WTA, ATP and ITF, we remain very committed to the well-being of all athletes and to the continuous improvement of every aspect of the player experience in our tournament. – including with the media, as we have always tried to do, ”said Moretton.
He did not stay for journalists’ questions.