The Japanese tennis star withdrew from Roland Garros on Monday after all the turmoil over his press boycott. The 23-year-old last Australian Open winner has revealed that she has struggled with depression since 2018. Osaka said she has “been through long periods of depression since the 2018 US Open (her first Grand Slam title ) and had a hard time getting over it “. “I wish I could give her a hug right now,” Williams said after learning of Osaka’s decision after her first round victory at Roland Garros. “I know how she feels because I have also been in the same situation.”
According to Williams, Osaka needs time and space more than anything right now. “We all have different personalities and each handles things differently. We have to let her handle this situation as she wants and as she thinks is best for her. That’s all I can say.”
In Japan, where Naomi Osaka is a big star, the supportive reaction is also very strong from her fans. Osaka, who has announced that she will take a step back from the competition, must represent her country this summer at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
“I was surprised. I can’t imagine what she went through, but I hope she won’t regret her decision,” said compatriot Misaki Doi. Former Japanese tennis player Ai Sugiyama said on a morning show Tuesday that she hoped Naomi Osaka’s actions could be “an opportunity to talk about the mental health of athletes.”