Naomi Osaka has made headlines this season, not just for tennis reasons. Shortly before Roland Garros began, the Japanese-American tennis player announced that she would not take part in the press conferences. Naomi also admitted that she has been dealing with depression since 2018, a problem that is affecting her career in a notable way.
It is no coincidence that her results in 2021 were well below expectations. As part of the 'Nothing Personal' podcast hosted by David Samson, former American player Mardy Fish - star of a documentary recently released on Netflix - analyzed the moment that Naomi Osaka is living.
The 39-year-old took advantage of this to make a comparison with two male tennis legends Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, who have always had to deal with enormous pressure from the media. The Swiss and the Spaniard have been the two symbols of the ATP circuit over the past decade and a half, before being beaten on the pitch by Novak Djokovic (but not in terms of popularity).
Mardy Fish opens up on Naomi Osaka
A number of people compared her decision to legends like Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, who have never really found it as an issue. One such person was former American player, Mardy Fish who spoke about the situation that Naomi Osaka is facing and compared it to how Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have been going about things with regard to this matter.
However, the importance of social media in today’s world can have an impact on individuals. The 39-year-old player stated, “I don’t know, you know, Naomi. I don’t know her personal life with her family or her parents or her boyfriend.
You know, she’s a real human and so these things are uncomfortable. She’s shy, just cause you’re shy doesn’t mean you don’t need to talk to the media, that doesn’t mean that. What people don’t understand too, is that With someone like her, then Roger Federer, Rafa does it better where he acts like he doesn’t really speak quite as good of English as he actually does.
I’m sure you have seen a few baseball players like that. You know Roger speaks like five different languages. He has got to do press in five different languages as long as I did in English. Naomi speaks fluent Japanese and the Japanese media is all over her. We need to consolidate and figure out a way somehow where we can make it comfortable for everyone”.