“Very Personal Issue”: 14-Times Grand Slam Champion Opens up on Naomi Osaka’s Situation

Published 09/17/2021, 6:30 AM EDT
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – AUGUST 23: Naomi Osaka of Japan speaks during media day prior to the the 2019 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 23, 2019 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)


Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, the Spanish legend, shared her perspectives on the mental health issues of four times grand slam champion, Naomi Osaka. Osaka returned to Flushing Meadows after she withdrew her name from Roland Garros and the Wimbledon Championships.

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In and interview with MARCA, Arantxa Vicario opened up about many things including Naomi Osaka’s mental health issues. She said, “It is a very personal issue. I have heard details, but she is the person who must explain what she feels.”

She further defended her statements by saying, “You can say and speculate with many things, but we all would like to be the ones to explain what happens if we were in the same situation. I understand it and I think people do too.” 

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Naomi Osaka on depression and anxiety

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 03: Naomi Osaka of Japan reacts against Leylah Fernandez of Canada during her Women’s Singles third round match on Day Five of the US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 03, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Osaka has been always up front talking about issues on mental health. “Perhaps we should give athletes the right to take a mental break from media scrutiny on a rare occasion without being subject to strict sanctions,” Osaka wrote in the Time Magazine. The title of the article was: “It’s O.K. to not be O.K.“

Osaka withdrew from Roland Garros after being fined $15,000 for missing the post-first-round press conference. She admitted to having nervousness before speaking to the media and that she had been dealing with depression. She then went on to withdraw her name from the Wimbledon Championships as well.

Osaka returns to Flushing Meadows

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Sep 3, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Leylah Fernandez of Canada, right, shakes hands with Naomi Osaka Osaka of Japan after a third round match on day five of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

After a disappointing performance in Tokyo 2020, the former world number one returned to the US Open 2021. Osaka progressed to the third round after displaying a resolute approach. Although she received a walkover in the second round, the four-time grand slam champion appeared focused and resilient.

Unfortunately, Canadian prodigy Leylah Fernandez crushed Osaka’s dreams in the third round. Despite winning the opening set, Naomi Osaka was unable to seal the victory.

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DIVE DEEPER

Venus Williams Opens up on Naomi Osaka and Simone Biles Mental Health Situation

about 1 month ago

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Atri Bhatt

209 articles

Atri Bhatt is a tennis author at Essentially Sports. 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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