Rennae Stubbs weighs in on mental health struggles in tennis

More emphasis has been put on tennis players' mental health after Naomi Osaka went public with her story.

by Dzevad Mesic
Rennae Stubbs weighs in on mental health struggles in tennis

Former six-time Grand Slam doubles champion Rennae Stubbs says it's important to keep putting emphasis on athletes' mental health as there are still those who feel they are showing weakness by opening up about personal struggles.

"Everybody has something and often, those are things you don't talk about or you don't hear about. And no athlete is going to talk about the vulnerabilities because that is seen as a weakness," Stubbs said on MSNBC, per Sportskeeda.

Stubbs, a former doubles No 1, said she saw "a lot of people really struggling" during her time on the Tour. "Just like men don't talk about these problems because they see it as a weakness. So it's super important that everybody keeps talking about it.

And it is an issue. Being on the tennis tour as long as I was, I saw a lot of people really struggling. We talk about the physical injuries, but not a lot talk about the mental side of the sport," Stubbs noted.

Stubbs: There are thousands of Naomis in the sporting world

A year and a half ago, four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka opened up about her battle with anxiety and depression.

Since then, Osaka has become one of the biggest advocates for athletes' mental health. Stubbs, who has been around tennis for a very long time, suggested that the high expectations and pressure are often the main reasons why a player ends up in a bad place mentally.

"There are thousands of Naomis in the sporting world and the business, financial and TV world that deals with these things when they go home and the light shuts off. People think that they are famous and rich, and they should be happy.

It's not the case. These are kids. They're 19, 20, 21-year-olds. They have to go on performing for thousands of people, for their sponsors; they got families that they are supporting. There's lots of stresses on their shoulders. OK, yes, they've got all the money in the world, but, really, that doesn't make you happy," Stubbs explained.

Rennae Stubbs Naomi Osaka