"Just want to thank you all for the love," Naomi Osaka recently explained on her Instagram. Surely, it was well received as to empathizing with her on regaining her mental health by taking a break from tennis competition.
As in the Broadway Theatre has a saying "The Show Must Go On." The problem is that everyone wants the no. 2 player in the world to be included in the show and not excluded. But when will that be? Osaka had won her first round at Roland Garros but situations grew tense when she decided to skip the press conference.
She was fined $15,000 and the rest of the Grand Slam tournaments mentioned of possible disqualification if her behavior continued. It wasn't long before the Japanese player abruptly withdrew from Roland Garros. As other tournaments are forthcoming, Naomi Osaka has begun another withdrawal.
Now it's the warm-up event for Wimbledon, the Bett1 Open in Berlin. This leaves everyone wondering if she'll play Wimbledon and if not when will this all be resolved. Osaka hasn't hid the fact that she suffers from anxiety before speaking with the press and has had bouts of depression over the situation.
Players have come to her support as Sloane Stephens saying "It's unfortunate...A lot of people play through being miserable and being upset and not being able to speak out...we should support her and applaud her..."
The multi-grand slam champ Andy Murray takes a similar attitude but says of being a bit disheartened on how the tournaments handled the situation. "And I don't think it was a good look for the tours in terms of wanting to default her."
Many took the situation lightly on Osaka not wanting to do press conferences. But Murray comments that "As soon as she said on social media that she'd been dealing with depression, the stance from the Slams and tennis changed and was quite different."
Others would say the press conferences along with other things is what athletes and tennis players signed up for when turning professional whether it's stressful or . Most would agree that Naomi Osaka should come to terms with the anxiety fo speaking with the media, get help re-group and start slowly coming back onto the tennis competitive court.
The 23-year-old taking a break may be needed for her, but her sponsors have considered her a great asset and need her to represent their products. When she's not on the court, she's not visible at showing the sponsors' wears.
Fans have paid much money to see their favorite player on court and now that the Pandemic and social distancing is lessening, more spectators will want tickes to see the Japanese play. What does Osaka have to gain by taking a break? The time to get psychological help in overcomng her anxieties on being questioned at media events.
What does she have to lose? The skills and strategies she had when she last played; which might take longer to regain. Future sponsorships will be on hold. The present ones may be deciding on what to do in promoting their products besides from the Japanese.
It's also a fact that press conferences will not go away. The only way for Naomi Osaka to approach the issue is possibly head on and ease into touring and competition again. If she doesn't decide to talk to tournament organizers on her feelings instead of just withdrawing from events, everything will remain for Naomi Osaka a standstill situation that may end with more negative results.