Japanese fans and public figures are rallying round tennis superstar and compatriot, Naomi Osaka, offering her sympathy over her battles with depression which led to her decision to withdraw from the French Open.
Osaka, a four-time grand slam winner whose career is closely followed in Japan following the controversy that trailed her refusal to attend press conference and subsequent withdrawal from the French grand slam, revealed that she has “suffered long bouts of depression” after pulling out of the French Open. She added that she decided to “take some time away from the court,” apparently to gather her wits about herself.
As it panned out, taking time off led to not just her withdrawal from the tournament but also resulted in her refusal to attend the press conference which she described as “kicking people when they are down.”
Generally however, while her action generated media frenzy across the world, fans and the Japanese public rallied round her in sympathy, urging her to take a long break from the game to look after herself.
“I hope she gets to eat what she wants, watch what she wants and listen to what she wants. I hope she wraps herself up in a fluffy blanket and takes it easy until she feels content,” one Twitter supporter urged.
Despite her withdrawal from the French game, Osaka is billed to represent her country Japan at the July-August Tokyo Olympics. She is also expected to be one of the host country’s high ranking athletes at the games. That is, if she attends.
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