Top tennis personalities from around the world have rallied support for Japanese tennis player, Naomi Osaka, following her withdrawal from the French Open over complains about her media boycott.
Notable among the tennis stars are Williams sisters Venus and Serena, Billie Jean King, and Stephen.
They have taken to social media to express support for Ms. Osaka.
Billie Jean King in a tweet indicated that “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.”
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.
— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) May 31, 2021
Venus Williams also tweeted: “Take care of yourself and see you back winning soon.”
Stephen Curry pledged his support for Osaka via Twitter.
— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) May 31, 2021
Osaka had cited mental health issues as reason for refusing to speak to the media.
She said her decision to withdraw wasn’t something that she imagined.
According to her, “I think now 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.”
She noted that “I never wanted to be a distraction and I accept that my timing was not ideal and my message could have been clearer.”
What did she say?
Osaka, a four-time Grand Slam champion had noted that she would not attend press conference during the French Open. She cited mental health reasons for her refusal to speak to the press.
According to her, she suffered “long bouts of depression’ since the 2018 US Open”.
But she was fined $15,000 by Grand Slam organisers for failing to attend a news conference following her first-round win.
Meanwhile, in her statement released via her official Twitter handle on Monday, May 31, 2021, she argued that “the truth is I have suffered long bouts of depression since the US Open in 2018 and I have had a really hard time coping with that.”
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) May 31, 2021
By Melvin Tarlue