Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from the Indian Wells Masters. Osaka, ranked at No. 8 in the world, announced what many expected she would do after her US Open exit. After suffering a disappointing US Open third round loss to Leylah Fernandeu, Osaka opened about her mental struggles.
“How do I go around saying this? I feel like for me recently, like, when I win I don't feel happy,” Osaka said shortly after her US Open exit. “I feel more like a relief. And then when I lose, I feel very sad.
I don't think that's normal”. Osaka took a two-month break from tennis following the French Open to focus on her mental health. After the Fernandez loss, Osaka hinted she would take another break from tennis.
“Basically, I feel like – OK. Hmm, 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," Osaka said.
Maria Sharapova showed support for Osaka
Former world No. 1 Sharapova described Osaka as an "incredible athlete and a beautfiul human being." Sharapova praised Osaka for opening about her struggles and expressed hope that the Japanese will get better.
"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."