“I Feel Like I Am Obligated to Go Out There”: Nick Kyrgios Resonates With Naomi Osaka’s Mental Health Movement

Published 08/30/2021, 9:29 AM EDT
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 8, 2021 Australia’s Nick Kyrgios during his first round match against Portugal’s Frederico Ferreira Silva REUTERS/Jaimi Joy


It’s been an interesting season of tennis, packed with constant action and high-end drama. Adding to this relentless action are also controversies that take place both on and off the court. Heading this year’s most talked-about event is Naomi Osaka and her mental health movement. Many stars have spoken in favor of Naomi since, with Nick Kyrgios being the latest one.

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One of the finest of the new generation of tennis stars, Osaka is a fan favorite. However, earlier this year, she sparked outrage with her actions at the Roland Garros. The Japanese national, who felt her mental health was at a risk, pulled out of the tournament, despite being in the form of her life. What was solely a self-decision then soon evolved into a worldwide movement, with many coming to the athlete’s aid.

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Australian giant Nick Kyrgios joined the list of her supporters, expressing how he resonates with the World No. 3.

Passion turned obligation

In an insightful conversation over the mental health challenges players face, Kyrgios opened up on battles of his own. Known for his antics, fans have always viewed Nick under the magnifying glass of an entertainer. However, speaking about Naomi’s decision, he extended his support and admitted having similar experiences.

He said, “What you’re speaking about, I’ve felt that a lot. Obviously, for certain players like Naomi, you have a lot more spotlight on you, lot more eyes on you.”

Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 3, 2021 Australia’s Nick Kyrgios acknowledges the spectators after losing his match by a walkover as he sustained an injury REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

“Sometimes it’s just easy saying, ‘I don’t feel like playing today,’ but I feel like I’m obligated to go out there. You never think about just not playing. I’ve never heard it from a player like that,” he concluded.

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Can Nick Kyrgios change his fate?

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Sad but true, it’s been a disappointing season for Nick Kyrgios. Riddled by both injuries and surprise defeats, the Aussie has seen a massive shift in his form. He has also admitted to having struggled mentally, finding the motivation to compete. Now, as he gears up for the US Open, he faces a tough draw, leaving fans worried yet again.

Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – June 29, 2021 Australia’s Nick Kyrgios reacts during his first round match against France’s Ugo Humbert REUTERS/Paul Childs

Making things difficult, the unseeded is set to face Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut in the first-round clash. Provided he makes it past the Spaniard, he will face 12th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime next. However, courtesy of his progress, he will be in for his toughest battle this season, a round of 16 clash against World No. 7 Andrey Rublev.

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Considering the tough competition, fans wonder in uncertainty over the performance of the Aussie. However, as long as he is his natural self on the court, enjoying playing his favorite sport, fans are in for thorough entertainment.

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Melroy Fernandes

280 articles

Melroy Joseph Fernandes is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. A Mass Media graduate, Melroy has been a content writer for the past 6 years, curating stories for several brands, starting from his own. At the age of 17, Melroy began his writing Journey with Team BIB, an event management company for everything Art and Entertainment.

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