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‘Was Happy With the Choice That I Made’ – Naomi Osaka Recounts Her French Open 2021 Withdrawal

Published 07/02/2022, 2:31 AM EDT

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USA Today via Reuters

It was the French Open 2021. Naomi Osaka entered the tournament on the back of winning the Australian Open title, the fourth major title of her career. She was the second seed at the tournament and one of the favorites to lift the title. Osaka had a comfortable first-round victory over Patricia Maria Tig of Romania. However, before her second-round match against Ana Bogdan, the Japanese tennis star withdrew from the tournament owing to deteriorating mental health.

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Further, her decision created a revolution of sorts. Fellow players backed her on this tough decision and wished her a speedy recovery. Additionally, many athletes came forward and opened up about their mental health issues. Recently, Osaka opened up about how her French Open 2021 decision helped change the perspective of the world on mental health.


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Naomi Osaka talks about her French Open 2021 withdrawal

During an interview, the 24-year-old talked about her decision to withdraw from the French Open last year owing to deteriorating mental health. She said, “I don’t know, I was kind of hiding inside my house for, like, two weeks. But when I came out to, like, go to the grocery store or something, there was a woman that came up to me. And she was saying how her son deals with anxiety and stuff and I really helped him out a lot.”

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Further, she went on to add, “And I think that was a moment that I realized, like, ‘Oh … I might have actually, like, helped someone.;’ And even though I was a bit scared, I was happy with the choice that I made.”


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Osaka suffers an untimely injury setback

The four-time Grand Slam champion withdrew from the ongoing Wimbledon Championships owing to an Achilles injury. It is the same injury that forced her to miss the Italian Open earlier this year.


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Osaka will be eager to recover in time and come back stronger in the upcoming hard-court season.

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Written by:

Vatsal Shah


One take at a time

Vatsal Shah is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. With a Bachelor's degree in engineering, he is a die hard fan of tennis and sports in general. He is an ardent follower of Rafael Nadal and is inspired by his never-say-die attitude.
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Edited by:

Tony Thomas