World No. 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas insists that opening about mental health is not a shame and that those who do that should not he judged. A few months ago, world No. 2 Naomi Osaka drew lots of attention after revealing she has been battling depression and anxiety for years.
Since then, athletes' mental health has become a popular topic. "Many people want to show strength and how powerful they are, but few are more tolerant towards accepting and showing weakness. For me it’s not a shame to show that side, everyone is different and cannot be treated the same way," Tsitsipas told Adidas.
"I had moments where I didn’t feel mentally healthy, I didn’t feel 100%, but I kept reminding myself how fortunate I am to be having the life that I have, that wins are not important, what’s important is being happy and the rest follows.
After all, you are in control of your happiness, and it shouldn’t be dependent of others. "Daily, I aim to place emphasis on my happiness and try to improve myself, whether that’s on court, by becoming a better tennis player, or a better human being in general.
However, there are times when it’s difficult to feel grateful, we live in a very fast paced society where everything happens very quickly. When that happens it’s important to declutter and focus on the minimal and let the rest fall into place."
Tsitsipas thinks pressure is a privilege
Tsitsipas is one of the biggest stars on the Tour and wherever he goes, the expectation is on him to deliver. "It’s good to take a step back and reflect, to gain a different perspective before continuing your path, this time with more knowledge, experience and a healthier mental state that will help you find motivation again.
But most importantly for me, it’s to find a purpose in what you’re doing, because if you have a purpose everything falls in place, there is no motivation without it," Tsitsipas claimed. "I believe that competition is a great thing, and pressure has always been a privilege and will continue to be a privilege."