Earlier this year, Naomi Osaka revealed how she was dealing with depression and anxiety; now, the tennis star is responding to the impact her vulnerability left on many.
“I never thought about speaking my mind as something that was difficult. I really just wanted to express my true feelings and be honest with not only myself but to others about struggles,” Osaka said in a conversation with People, discussing NFTs with the co-founded Tom Brady platform, Autograph. “The more we can all be open the more we can help each other be better.”
She continued, “It has been really nice to feel supported not only by my family, team and brand partners but also by the fans and fellow athletes. I was most surprised to hear from so many people that they, too, had been struggling but we’re afraid to speak up.”
This past May, Osaka announced that she was withdrawing from the French Open and cited the bouts of anxiety with press interviews. In June, she also withdrew from Wimbledon before competing at the Tokyo Summer Olympics. She only made it to the third round.
She also spoke about her mental health after winning the US Open in 2018.
The 23-year-old credits meditation, gaming, and listening to music to keep her “centered.”
And with the US Open kicking off in New York on Monday (Aug. 30), she appears to be in great spirits as she seeks her third US Open title.
“I love playing at the US open as it brings me back to Queens, where I grew up training and it feels like I am always coming back to a place with great memories,” she says.