Former Olympic Gold Medalist Lauds Naomi Osaka’s Effort For Mental Health Awareness

Published 12/13/2021, 8:30 AM EST
Aug 30, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Naomi Osaka of Japan warms up before playing against Marie Bouzkova of Czech Republic in the first round on day one of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports


Athletes across the world have admired Naomi Osaka’s efforts to raise awareness about mental health. Osaka took the big step to withdraw from this year’s French Open owing to her mental fitness. Recently, in an interview with a magazine, former Olympics 200 meters winner, Allyson Felix paid respect to Osaka.

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Felix talked about the expectation of being a high-level athlete. She herself has gone through such a patch in her life and understands Naomi Osaka’s decision.

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American track athlete hails Naomi Osaka

The four-time Grand Slam holder, Naomi Osaka has been a huge advocate for mental health for quite some time. On several occasions, Osaka has given importance to her mental health. Athletes from different sports even supported Osaka for stepping up. This time, 2012 London Olympics 200 meters winner, Allyson Felix opened up on Osaka’s courage to come out.

Aug 30, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Naomi Osaka of Japan prepares to play Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic on day one of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Felix said, ”  I think a lot of high-level athletes can relate to that. It’s almost like when you go through a defeat or some type of loss, it’s so big and it seems so heavy, and when you are already on that level and you win, everyone expects you to win.”

The American athlete continued,  ” The emotion is not necessarily what someone would expect it to be, because I think sometimes people take those performances for granted.”

In addition, she also discussed the significance of losing in a sport. She said, ” But when you lose, it’s shocking and it’s something to talk about, so it’s a very interesting dynamic. It’s in the process, that’s when you’re growing and when you’re stretching, and you don’t want to miss that because it’s so valuable.”

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Osaka withdrew from the tour since US Open 2021 due to mental health

Naomi Osaka had taken a long leave after a third-round exit at US Open 2021 against Leylah Fernandez. The main reason behind the sabbatical was prioritizing her mental health.

Aug 30, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Naomi Osaka of Japan serves against Marie Bouzkova of Czech Republic in the first round on day one of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

However, recently Osaka is training and practicing as she intends to return to professional tennis. People are expecting Osaka’s return in the upcoming Australian Open.

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DIVE DEEPER

Naomi Osaka Joins LeBron James as the One of the Only 2 Sports Stars in Forbes’Under 30 Hall of Fame

about 2 months ago

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Atri Bhatt

492 articles

Atri Bhatt is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. He is pursuing his Master's degree in Sports Management from Deakin University, Australia. In addition to critically analysing the game, he also plays tennis professionally.

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