Four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka was awarded the Wilma Rudolph Courage Award by the Women's Sports Foundation. The Women's Sports Foundation each year recognizes women who are making an impact both on and off the court or field using their respective platforms to push for a variety of causes.
Osaka, a former world No. 1, publicly opened about her struggles with mental health this year and tried to raise awareness on the importance of mental health. After Haiti was struck by a huge earthquake in August, Osaka announced she would donate all of her Cincinnati Masters prize money to Haiti relief fund.
"I got the courage to speak out, growing up and seeing all the people around me doing amazing things and not having any fear and standing up for what they believe in," Osaka told press.
Osaka encourages young girls to always keep believing
"What I would like to say to all the young girls watching tonight, try your best every day, you'll never know where that's going to take you," Osaka said.
"I would consider it a game and maybe you'll be sitting where I'm sitting in a couple of years and I can't wait to see that." Osaka has drawn lots of attention to herself this year with her comments about mental health.
Osaka has taken two breaks this year to focus on her mental health but former world No. 1 Andy Roddick insists no one can say that the Japanese is mentally weak. "Are you going to tell me that Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka, when they enter their favorite stadium, are not mentally strong? Stop for a bit.
Mental toughness is sitting down for a press conference and being good at it? It’s not mental toughness. Going the distance in matches, winning Grand Slam tournaments, winning gold medals, when the pressure is on, that's mental toughness. It’s not a synonym for mental health. Let’s be clear about this," Roddick said on Tennis Channel.