Venus Williams Opens up on Naomi Osaka and Simone Biles Mental Health Situation

Published 09/16/2021, 7:32 AM EDT
MIAMI GARDENS, FL – MARCH 23: Venus Williams (USA) during her qualifying second round match of the Miami Open on March 23, 2021, at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, FL. (Photo by Michele Eve Sandberg/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)


Seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams highlighted the importance of mental health at a recent product launch for her company ‘ Happy Viking’.

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Promoting the benefits of wellness–both physically and mentally, the former World No.1 mentioned mental health has become a more acceptable topic to discuss on the national level, a conversation that has particularly gained attention during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – June 30, 2021 Venus Williams of the U.S. in action during her second round match against Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

“This pandemic brought it to people’s attention. Mental health is so important, and it’s such an important part of our well-being,” said Williams.

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Venus Williams speaks on importance of mental health

In addition, Williams applauded the younger athletes, such as Simone Biles, Naomi Osaka, and Michael Phelps, for speaking about their mental health struggles openly. At this year’s French Open, Osaka revealed suffering from bouts of depression and anxiety.

In fact, Osaka’s confession brought people’s attention to the mental health issues faced by many athletes, which are usually brushed under the carpet.

“I’m happy that we’re having those conversations and people being honest and vulnerable, which is not easy. But it’s helping so many people and it’s just a new world in that, so I’m glad,” said Williams.

The American last played at the Chicago Women’s Open, where she lost in the opening round. Subsequently, she withdrew from the US Open, citing a leg injury.

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Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – June 30, 2021 Venus Williams of the U.S. in action during her second round match against Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

The 41-year-old last won a Grand Slam title at the 2008 Wimbledon Championships. Since then she has reached three Grand Slam finals, however, has suffered defeat on each occasion.

Meanwhile, Williams is gearing up for the release of the movie ‘King Richard’ starring Will Smith. The Hollywood star is portraying Richard Williams, the father of the iconic tennis players, Venus Williams and Serena Williams.

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Based on a true story, the movie traces the journey of Richard in raising two of the greatest athletes of all time. Interestingly, Venus and her sister Serena are executive producers of the film.

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Kshitij Tayal

488 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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