“Real and Serious” – Lewis Hamilton Extends Support to Naomi Osaka Post Her Withdrawal From French Open 2021

Published 06/02/2021, 8:33 AM EDT
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – May 30, 2021 Japan’s Naomi Osaka in action during her first round match against Romania’s Patricia Maria Tig REUTERS/Christian Hartmann


Since Naomi Osaka announced her withdrawal from the ongoing 2021 French Open, many sporting icons across the globe have raised their voice in her support. Even before the onset of the French Open, Osaka had been in the eye of the storm for deciding to boycott press conferences at the clay-court Grand Slam.

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However, her decision to pull out of the tournament, just two days after her first-round victory, send shock waves around the tennis fraternity. Osaka mentioned suffering bouts of depression and anxiety since the 2018 US Open and subsequently withdrew citing mental health concerns.

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – May 30, 2021 Japan’s Naomi Osaka reacts during her first round match against Romania’s Patricia Maria Tig REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Formula 1 champion lends support to Naomi Osaka

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With social media abuzz with outpouring support for Osaka, the seven-time Formula 1 champion, Lewis Hamilton, has also come out in defense of the WTA star.

Reiterating the importance of mental health, Hamilton lauded Osaka’s strength to talk about her struggle with depression. The British racing driver extended his support for Osaka and urged netizens to keep a tab on their loved ones.

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“Mental health is not a joke, this is real and serious. This takes a lot of courage to do. Let’s all make sure Naomi knows she’s not alone. Today is a good day to check and ask your friends and loved ones how they are doing and let them know they are not alone,” tweeted Hamilton.

In fact, leading sporting figures, Serena Williams, Martina Navratilova, NBA star Stephen Curry, multiple Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt as well as NFL players Russell Wilson and Tyler Lockett have sent their messages of support for Osaka.

After skipping the press conference post her opening-round win, the French Open authorities fined Osaka $15,000 and subsequently threatened her with a possible disqualification if she continued with her intention.

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With Osaka revealing she plans to step away from the court for a while, now the uncertainly looms over her participation at the 2021 Wimbledon Championships which begin just two weeks after Roland Garros.

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Kshitij Tayal

389 articles

Kshitij Tayal is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having played district-level tennis competitions, Kshitij is also a tenured journalist of the sport with over four years of experience. At EssentiallySports, he pens down some thought-provoking pieces on players and tournaments across the ATP and WTA.

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