Serena Williams isn’t the only one with thoughts on Naomi Osaka’s recent decision to withdraw from the French Open. Her sister, Venus, is opening up about her feelings on facing the media and the impact it can have on mental health.
Last week, the 23-year-old tennis champion, Osaka, decided not to participate in standard post-match news conferences for mental health reasons and therefore was fined $15,000 for not abiding by the media requirements. As a result, Osaka released a statement Monday revealing that she would not be participating in the Open.
“Hey everyone, this isn’t a situation I ever imagined or intended when I posted a few days ago. 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,” Osaka wrote on social media. “I never wanted to be a distraction and I accept my timing was not ideal and my message could have been clearer. More importantly, I would never trivialize mental health or use the term lightly.”
During her own press conference this week, Williams was asked how she deals with the invasive press and media scrutiny. “For me personally, how I deal with it was that I know every single person asking me a question can't play as well as I can, and never will," Venus told reporters (watch the clip above). “So, no matter what you say, or what you write, you will never light a candle to me. So, that's how I deal with it, but each person deals with it differently.”
And this isn’t the first time the 40-year-old touched on the topic. In fact, after Osaka shared her lengthy statement on IG, Venus showed her support in the comments section of the post, writing, “So proud of you. Take care of yourself and see you back winning soon!”
First Serena, now Venus—Naomi has quite the support system behind her.
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