Naomi Osaka has returned home to the United States since she withdrawn from the French Open 2021. She then decited to skip Wimbledon after the media storm on the eve and during the Parisian Slam. Naomi, before the start of the Roland Garros 2021, had said that she would not give press conferences, as they would mentally destabilize the tennis players.
Criticisms and threats arrived from the other Slam events, who even asked Osaka to retrace her steps, subject to exclusion from the Majors. As a result, the young Japanese star first withdrawn from the French Open, from the Berlin tournament, and from Wimbledon.
During these days Naomi has received a lot of criticism from the media, insiders, fans and other players. However, icons of the star system, other fans and tennis players, media and journalists also defended the young Japanese star.
Her sponsors, like Nike, also took Naomi's side. One of them is Lindsey Vonn.
Lindsey: "Naomi Osaka sheds a huge global light on mental health"
Vonn, 36, retired from competitive skiing in 2019 and ended her career as the most successful skier of all time, with a record of 20 World Cup titles to her name and 82 overall wins.
But one thing many US fans may not know about Vonn is that she is a big advocate of mental health. Ahead of the Tokyo Summer Games, Vonn has partnered with Olympic TOP Partner and insurance provider Allianz, as a global ambassador to help highlight the importance of mental health.
During an interview for Forbes, on the choice and the reasons that led Naomi Osaka to retire from Roland Garros 2021, Vonn said: "I think we are a lot farther along in the process of making mental health more a topic that can be talked about.
It definitely was not a topic anyone spoke about when I was competing in the Games, even with my family, let alone publicly, even just as recent ago as 2012. So, I think this process of change is will give athletes a lot more resources and support.
I think mental health a has been widely overlooked. I think that what Naomi has done is shine a huge global light on issues of mental health and support, and toward normalizing it. And I hope every athlete can seek out support and not feel ashamed."