“We Are Just Human Beings”: Alize Cornet Backs Naomi Osaka For Raising Awareness on Mental Health

Published 09/20/2021, 11:00 AM EDT
Aug 30, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Naomi Osaka of Japan reacts 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


Naomi Osaka failed to defend her title at the US Open 2021. She didn’t play great tennis and thus, got eliminated in the third round of the Grand Slam after losing to Leylah Fernandez.

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Keeping in mind her mental health, Naomi Osaka decided to take a break from tennis. She is not feeling well and needs some time off the court. As a result, her return date is not certain as of now.

In her autobiography, which recently got released in English, French player Alize Cornet, talked about the emotional side of tennis players. In a recent interview to Tennis.com, she mentioned that because of Osaka’s breakdown, people are actually getting to know about the mental health of players.

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Naomi Osaka of Japan gestures after missing a shot against Leylah Annie Fernandez of Canada (not pictured). Day five of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

“I think this was perfect timing that my book should be coming out in English right now. I wrote it two years ago, but I feel now people are that much more aware of the emotional side of tennis players and they accept it better. You think of players like Naomi Osaka who put things at the forefront and told the world that we are just human beings,” said Cornet in the interview.

Cornet highlighted that even though she wrote the book two years back, people understand about the mental health of players a lot better these days. Thus, in a way, she thanked the Japanese star for talking about the issues openly.

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Alize Cornet believes that even though people knew about the problem earlier, they have started talking about it after the ‘Naomi Osaka’ incident

Osaka decided to skip the press-conferences at the French Open 2021 due to her mental health issues. When she got criticism for the same, she withdrew from the Grand Slam and then skipped the Wimbledon Championships 2021 as well. Thus, Cornet feels that because she discussed about her mental health, people are actually talking about the issue now.

Sep 3, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Naomi Osaka of Japan hits to Leylah Fernandez of Canada. Day five of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

“People knew this, but it was definitely taboo,” added the French player.

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Fans still back Naomi Osaka and hope that she makes an incredible comeback on the court. Will she be able to end the year within the top 10 WTA players?

DIVE DEEPER

Naomi Osaka on Verge of Dropping Out of Top 10 As Ranking Slump Continues

26 days ago

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Anshul Singh

1385 articles

Anshul Singh is a tennis author at EssentiallySports, currently pursuing Journalism Honors from Delhi University. Having significant experience with content, Anshul has authored over 500 tennis articles. He has previously worked as a writer and an editor for DU Express, penning riveting articles on sports, politics, and culture.

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