Former world No. 1 Maria Sharapova has showed support for Naomi Osaka and suggested that athletes' mental health is underestimated at times. Osaka made the headlines when she abruptly pulled out of the French Open and revealed that she has been battling depression and anxiety for years.
Osaka took a two-month break from tennis after the French Open but still he is struggling with her mental health. "We all need to be incredbily supportive of athletes who are going through tough times in their careers. Naomi is an incredbile athlete and a beautiful human being, who has a very long career ahead of her," Shapovalov said of Osaka.
"We all need to respect the decisions that players make at times of vulnerability, when they're feeling down or not playing their best tennis. To be honest, not many people know what's going on behind-the-scenes and how players feel.
You only see the tennis game and what happens on the court. "The more support that we can provide, the better they will be and the better that they will play."
Osaka set to take another break from tennis
After suffering a shock US Open third round loss to Leylah Fernandez, Osaka broke down in tears and opened up about some of her struggles.
"This is very hard to articulate. Basically I feel like I’m kind of at this point where I’m trying to figure out what I want to do, and I honestly don’t know when I’m going to play my next tennis match.
Sorry," Osaka said in her press conference. “I think I’m going to take a break from playing for a while. “How do I go around saying this? I feel like for me recently when I win I don’t feel happy. I feel more like a relief.
And then when I lose, I feel very sad. I don’t think that’s normal. I didn’t really want to cry."