“Your Messages Meant a Lot”: Naomi Osaka Expresses Gratitude for Support During Tennis Break

Published 07/06/2021, 6:55 AM EDT
Tennis – Australian Open – Women’s Singles Final – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Japan’s Naomi Osaka celebrates with the trophy after winning her final match against Jennifer Brady of the U.S. REUTERS/Kelly Defina


Naomi Osaka took the tennis world by surprise when she announced her withdrawal from the 2021 French Open last month. In the form of her life, World No. 1, Naomi, decided to take a break from the sport, on the grounds of mental health.

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As her decision saw mixed reception, with many criticizing the youngster, a worldwide conversation began concerning the mental well-being of players.

Tennis – A Day at the Drive Exhibition – Memorial Drive Tennis Club, Adelaide, Australia – January 29, 2021 Japan’s Naomi Osaka talks to the media at A Day at The Drive REUTERS/Morgan Sette

Even though Naomi was alone in her sabbatical, entities from all around the globe came to her support. Fans, followers and tennis peers spoke up in favor of her and demanded a change in the age-old pattern of ignorance.

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Appreciating the widespread support from her on-court colleagues, Naomi took to Instagram to thank them with a heartfelt story.

“Your messages mean a lot to me,” she wrote.

“I’m touched at the kindness I’ve received”- Naomi Osaka

Withdrawing from both the French Open and the 2021 Wimbledon Championship, Naomi talked about her struggles with anxiety and depression. Upon her revelation, tennis icons such as Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Sloane Stephens and many others came to Naomi’s defense.

Thanking them now for their support, Naomi wrote, “To all the amazing and beautiful women who have shown me love and light over the past few weeks- your messages meant/mean a lot to me and I’m touched at the kindness I’ve received.”

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 14, 2021 Japan’s Naomi Osaka during her fourth round match against Spain’s Garbine Muguruza REUTERS/Loren Elliott

The 23-year-old star rose to fame in 2018 after winning her first WTA title. Ever since, with back to back successful performances, Naomi has been in the limelight. However, not a fan of this fame and fortune, Naomi retaliated by choosing to not speak to the press after her first win at the French Open.

As a result, she was charged with a hefty fine and was handed an expulsion warning. Due to this, Naomi decided to take the bold step of quitting the tournament, highlighting the topics that needed long-due attention.

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This wasn’t Naomi’s first social media appearance, however. Not long ago, she had taken to Instagram to share a similar story, expressing her gratitude for all the love and admiration sent her way.

The Japanese international is currently on her sabbatical but continues to prepare for the all important tournament, the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

Watch this story:  Wimbledon Championship 2021- Funny interviews of Novak Djokovic, Nick Kyrgios, Andy Murray and Venus Williams 

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What was her personal stance, today has become a movement being talked about all across the world. As eager fans await to welcome back the youngster on the court, a revolution of sorts has begun off the court. Sidelining the glam and highlighting the basic needs of players that world media failed to consider, Naomi’s bravery will forever be remembered.

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Melroy Fernandes

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