Naomi Osaka Thanks Michelle Obama, Novak Djokovic, Michael Phelps, Steph Curry and Meghan Markle for Supporting Her

Published 07/08/2021, 9:44 AM EDT
Naomi Osaka of Japan in action against Coco Gauff of the United States of America in the Women’s Singles Round three match on Arthur Ashe Stadium during the 2019 US Open Tennis Tournament at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on in Flushing, Queens, New York City. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)


Naomi Osaka had kept a low profile for the past month following her controversy at French Open 2021. Now as she prepares to return to the tennis court following her Wimbledon withdrawal, she has thanked the many people including the likes of Michael Phelps and Novak Djokovic who helped her during her tough time.

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In her interview with Time magazine, Osaka thanked the likes of Michelle Obama, Michael Phelps, Novak Djokovic, Steph Curry, who helped her when she spoke about her mental health illness and why she was boycotting the media at French Open 2021.

“I want to thank everyone who supported me. Michelle Obama, Michael Phelps, Steph Curry, Novak Djokovic, Meghan Markle, to name a few,” Osaka said.

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Naomi Osaka reacts during her first-round match against Romania’s Patricia Maria Tig REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

What did Michael Phelps and Novak Djokovic say to Naomi Osaka?

23-time Olympic champion, Michael Phelps had said that he was happy that Osaka came out and spoke about her mental health issues. He said: “This is something that really could help a lot of people. I was so happy for her to be able to share exactly what she wanted. It said in the message that she loves playing tennis, and she wanted to play tennis. Maybe that makes her feel like her authentic self.”

Naomi Osaka reacts during her first-round match against Romania’s Patricia Maria Tig REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

For Phelps, Osaka said: “Michael Phelps told me that by speaking up I may have saved a life. If that’s true, then it was all worth it.”

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ATP World No.1 Novak Djokovic called Osaka brave and extended his support when the Japanese ace withdrew from French Open 2021. “I support her. I think she was very brave to do that. I’m really sorry that she is going through painful times and suffering mentally,” said Djokovic.

After staying on the sidelines for a month, Osaka will soon return. Although fans were unhappy with her Wimbledon withdrawal, she announced that she will play in the Tokyo Olympics 2021. Her passion for the game and her country has prompted her to make a strong comeback and then later step up to defend her US Open title.

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Bhavishya Mittal

1226 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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