“Who Are We to Judge?” – Eugenie Bouchard Feels for Naomi Osaka After Similar Struggles

Published 10/19/2021, 10:23 AM EDT
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 03: Naomi Osaka of Japan reacts against Leylah Fernandez of Canada during her Women’s Singles third round match on Day Five of the US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 03, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)


Japanese tennis sensation Naomi Osaka has had a mixed season so far. After winning the Australian Open early on, things have not gone her way. Just before the French Open could begin, she announced that she would not be part of press conferences due to the added mental pressure upon her. 

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Recently, Canadian tennis star Eugenie Bouchard came out and voiced her support for Osaka. She could relate to the situation as she faced similar issues in the past as well.

Naomi Osaka can make her choices

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Bouchard went into detail and compared the situation for a player who is in a team sport. Under those circumstances, players are under contract and have to do things like any other team member. However, in tennis one has the liberty to pick and choose the tournaments they wish to compete in and the Japanese player has taken advantage of this fact. 

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The 27-year-old player spoke on this and stated, “Look, if she feels she needs to take a break due to mental health, who are we to judge? I think – good for her, she’s in Greece right now and if she needs that, then that is what she’s got to do.

“Tennis has its pros and cons, it’s an individual sport, so you have the freedom to do what you want. So she can decide to do that, she’s not on salaries like in a team sport where you have to be in a certain place and time.”

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TORONTO, ON – AUGUST 06: Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) reacts after a point against Bianca Andreescu (CAN) during the WTA Rogers Cup match on August 6, 2019 at Aviva Centre in Toronto, ON. (Photo by Gerry Angus/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The former Wimbledon finalist added, “I’ve had tough experiences too. I have experienced really negative questions from the press but this was like 5-6 years ago and it was less socially acceptable to talk about mental health and taking a break for mental health would’ve been considered as weak and not strong as an athlete. We can talk about it now in the open as times have changed for the better on this issue.”

Coming to tennis, Bouchard has been out due to injury and targets a return in the upcoming season. We wish her a speedy recovery and hope to see her compete on the courts once again. On the other hand, Osaka has taken a break from the Tour.

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Rohan Kollare

1363 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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