Many Don’t Understand Naomi Osaka’s Situation, Asserts 4-Time Olympic Gold Medalist

Published 10/11/2021, 12:30 PM EDT
Aug 30, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Naomi Osaka of Japan prepares to play Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic on day one of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports


In recent times, Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka has been in the headlines. Earlier this season, she stated that she was dealing with issues with regards to her mental health. The situation had been troubling Osaka for some time, and she decided to speak up during the French Open.

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Initially, the world did not take cognizance of it. However, as time has gone by, there have been many individuals and athletes from different sporting backgrounds who have felt the same as Naomi Osaka. Recently, retired American sprinter Michael Johnson gave his take on the topic.

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Michael Johnson talks about Osaka’s situation 

In his glittering career, he was a successful Olympian with 4 Olympic golds to show for it. He is considered one of the greatest and most consistent sprinters in the history of track and field. He talked about the mental aspect of elite-level sports due to the amount of pressure and expectation on athletes.

Talking about Naomi, Johnson stated, “I don’t know that many of us truly understand what Naomi Osaka’s situation is with regard to her struggles with mental health, her struggles as an athlete with the mental side of sport… I’ll quote her saying, ‘I’m still trying to figure it out in terms of what this is’.

“So, I think that we all have to take a bit of a step back from saying ‘hey, we know exactly what’s going on here and this is our perspective on it’ because it’s much more complex,” continued the legendary sprinter.

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 03: Naomi Osaka of Japan looks dejected during her match against Leylah Fernandez of Canada in the third round of the women’s singles at the US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 03, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by TPN/Getty Images)

Naomi Osaka was in a serious situation 

At first, people did not realize the seriousness of the situation Naomi was going through. There’s a dire need to engage empathetically with the athletes that face immense pressure to perform. The conversation around mental health, which has shot to the forefront due to courageous athletes coming out with their stories, needs to result in institutional changes. 

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The mental health struggles have clearly impacted Osaka’s results. Post the Australian Open success earlier this season, she hasn’t been able to perform to her usual standards. As a fan, one hopes she can come back to winning ways.  

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Rohan Kollare

1179 articles

Rohan Kollare is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. Rohan has studied Sports Management and has a trophy cabinet adorned with accolades won in district and state-level tennis competitions. He has previously worked in Content Operations for Disney’s Hotstar for over a year, covering Tennis and Formula One.

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