Serena Williams, Billie Jean King, NBA stars rally behind Naomi Osaka after her withdrawal from French Open

Top tennis gamers and different star athletes from the sports activities world have rallied behind Naomi Osaka after the ladies’s world quantity two withdrew from the French Open 2021 in a row about post-match media duties, saying she had been struggling from “depression” and “anxiety”.

The four-times Grand Slam champion had signalled her intentions to skip her media duties to guard her psychological well-being on social media and returned to Twitter on Monday to announce her withdrawal.

“I think now the best thing for the tournament, the other players and my well-being is that I withdraw so that everyone can go back to focusing on the tennis going on in Paris,” she wrote.

While her authentic stance had earned little backing from her fellow professionals, most of whom saying that coping with the media was a part of the job, her withdrawal triggered a wave of help from across the sporting world.

Serena Williams, 17-year-old Coco Gauff and Sloane Stephens chimed in with messages of help as the main target shifted from Osaka’s obligations to her wellbeing.

“I feel for Naomi,” Serena Williams stated. “Not everyone is the same. I’m thick. Other people are thin. Everyone is different and everyone handles things differently.

“You just have to let her handle it the way she wants to and the best way she thinks she can. That’s the only thing I can say: I think she is doing the best she can.”

Billie Jean King echoed feedback from fellow tennis nice and 18-time Grand Slam champion Martina Navratilova in regards to the significance of psychological well being.

“It’s incredibly brave that Naomi Osaka has revealed her truth about her struggle with depression,” King wrote on social media.

“Right now, the important thing is that we give her the space and time she needs. We wish her well.”

There have been additionally messages of help posted on social media from athletes in different sports activities, with golf’s Michelle Wie, NFL gamers Russell Wilson and Tyler Lockett additionally providing their backing.

“You shouldn’t ever have to make a decision like this — but so damn impressive taking the high road when the powers that be don’t protect their own. Major respect,” wrote NBA All Star Steph Curry.

There was some criticism of Roland Garros organisers for his or her dealing with of the matter.

French Tennis Federation President Gilles Moretton learn a ready assertion on Monday providing Osaka their help however mockingly didn’t take any query.

“We are sorry and sad for Naomi Osaka. The outcome of Naomi withdrawing from Roland Garros is unfortunate,” he stated.

“So the FFT handled the Ms Osaka mental health concerns without empathy or sensitivity. Then the FFT President refuses to take questions at a presser. An own goal,” wrote former Australian tennis official Richard Ings.

Japan’s Osaka, who in response to sports activities enterprise web site Sportico earned $55.2 million over the previous 12 months, is anticipated to be one of many greatest points of interest on the upcoming Tokyo Olympics in July and August.

The 23-year-old concluded her assertion by saying she could be taking a while away from tennis.

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