Serena Williams feels for Naomi Osaka.
Hours after Osaka withdrew from the French Open to focus on her psychological well being, Williams mentioned she will be able to relate to Osaka’s struggles.
“The only thing I feel is that I feel for Naomi. I feel like I wish I could give her a hug because I know what it’s like. Like I said, I’ve been in those positions,” Williams mentioned after her first-round win over Romania’s Irina-Camelia Begu.
“Not everyone is the same. We have different personalities. 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,” the 23-time Grand Slam winner mentioned.
“That’s the only thing I can say: I think she is doing the best she can.”
Williams and Osaka will perpetually be linked for the 2018 US Open final. Williams’ outburst at referee Carlos Ramos over a training violation stole the headlines from Osaka’s monumental victory. The Flushing Meadows crowd jeered throughout the ceremony after the matching, leaving Osaka in tears as Williams consoled her.
In her assertion withdrawing from the French Open, Osaka mentioned she suffered “long bouts of depression since the US Open in 2018,” and has struggled to deal with it ever since.
Williams went on to elucidate how she dealt with related conditions all through her taking part in profession.
“You really have to step forward and make an effort, just as in anything, and say, ‘I need help with A, B, C and D,’ and talk to someone. I think that’s so important to have a sounding board, whether it’s someone at the WTA, or someone in your life, or maybe it’s someone you talk to on a weekly basis,” Williams mentioned, based on the Associated Press.
“I’ve been in that position too, and I’ve definitely had opportunities to talk to people and just get things off my chest that I can’t necessarily talk about to anyone in my family or anyone I know.”
Williams admitted that whereas many media classes have been “very difficult,” they’ve additionally “made me stronger.”
Osaka, earlier than backing out of the French Open, shared a press release opting out of post-match media conferences to guard and protect her psychological well being.
After recording her first win at Roland Garros over 63rd-ranked Patricia Maria Tig Sunday, the world’s No. 2 ranked participant was hit with a $15,000 high-quality for not assembly with the press. Osaka had beforehand mentioned she knew a high-quality was coming. Her withdrawal seemingly had extra to do along with her silence overshadowing the remainder of the occasion.
Osaka’s stance was scrutinized by the public and met with backlash from critics, together with tennis star and world No. 5 Sofia Kenin, who mentioned Osaka “signed up” for this.
The two-time U.S. Open champion, earlier than she withdrew from the French Open, was up towards a doable expulsion from the tournament.
Now, Osaka’s taking time away from the tennis courtroom.
It’s unclear how lengthy Osaka can be away from the game, however in her return, she hopes to work with the WTA Tour to create optimistic change round gamers, press and followers.