‘Couldn’t Find Peace’: What Made Serena Williams See a Therapist in 2018

Published 12/20/2021, 12:20 PM EST
Naomi Osaka of Japan cries after winning the Women’s Singles finals match alongside runner up Serena Williams of the United States on Day Thirteen of the 2018 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 8, 2018 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)


One of the most difficult things to witness for any tennis fan over the past few years has been Serena Williams falling short at various Grand Slam tournaments. Ever since winning her 23rd major title at the 2017 Australian Open, Williams has played four Major finals since and lost against Angelique Kerber, Naomi Osaka, Simona Halep, and Bianca Andreescu.

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While a defeat at any major final surely hurts, one of the most unfortunate incidents in Serena’s career happened during the 2018 US Open finals. The American, who was playing Osaka, was given three violations throughout the match. Out of the three, the final one costed her a crucial service game.

NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 08: Serena Williams of the United States argues with umpire Carlos Ramos during her Women’s Singles finals match against Naomi Osaka of Japan on Day Thirteen of the 2018 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 8, 2018 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

Serena Williams consulted a therapist after the heart-breaking 2018 US Open loss

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For someone who is a fierce opponent on-court, Serena was devastated and initially felt that the 24th Grand Slam crown was taken away from her. In an essay written to Harpers Bazaar a couple of years ago, the American expressed how she managed to cope up with that heart-breaking loss.

Serena mentioned going to a therapist in order to get past the incident.

Days passed, and I still couldn’t find peace. I started seeing a therapist.” 

Naomi Osaka of Japan hugs Serena Williams of the United States after winning the Women’s Singles finals match on Day Thirteen of the 2018 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 8, 2018 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Later in the same essay, the American also revealed her warm gesture towards Osaka, where she sent a message expressing her regret for taking the limelight away from the Japanese player.

Serena and Osaka maintained gentle camaraderie ever since their first meeting

Hey, Naomi! It’s Serena Williams. As I said on the court, I am so proud of you and I am truly sorry. I thought I was doing the right thing in sticking up for myself. But I had no idea the media would pit us against each other. I would love the chance to live that moment over again. I am, was, and will always be happy for you and supportive of you,” she wrote to Osaka

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Even though Serena had all the right in the world to express her disappointment, a memorable moment was taken away from Naomi Osaka as a result. The American brushed off her problems and gracefully allowed the Japanese player to soak up the victory during her post-match speech.

But the crowd’s reactions didn’t allow Osaka to have the dream celebration she would have imagined. However, it was nice to see Serena reach out to Naomi without making it awkward for the duo the next time they met each other on a tennis court.

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Post the incident, both Osaka and Serena always maintained grace and warmth whenever they faced and the Japanese player has lauded Williams several times for being a huge inspiration.

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Sagar Ashtakoula

723 articles

Sagar Ashtakoula is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. He has been following the sport since 2007. Sagar has completed his graduation in Electronics and Communication Engineering.

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