Naomi Osaka, tennis star and Olympic hopeful, said Monday that she wants to perform at the Olympics. She will also participate in press conferences after she pulled out of several tournaments due to her struggle with anxiety and depression.
According to Japan’s NHK, world number two said she was getting ready for her home-court match at the Tokyo Games. This was after having pulled out of Wimbledon and the French Open.
In a message to the broadcaster, the 23-year old wrote that she was preparing herself for the Olympics by working hard.
“Since I was first noticed by the world, I have always experienced anxiety. This is particularly true when you get to large competitions.
After abandoning her French Open campaign after only one match, Osaka sparked a discussion about mental health.
The Japanese player claimed that post-match news conferences were bad for her mental health, and likened them “kicking people when you’re down”.
Later, she shared her struggle with anxiety and depression in a social media post. She said that she needed to be away from the game to feel better.
NHK published Osaka’s message, in which she stated that she was proud to represent her country at the Games. She also said she would participate in news conferences while taking care of her mental health.
After refusing to honor mandatory media commitments, she was assessed a $15,000 fine and threatened with disqualification by Roland Garros.
French Open organizers claimed that they had shown respect to her after being accused of being over-handy.
Osaka’s agent stated last month that Osaka had decided to withdraw from Wimbledon in order to spend more time with her family and friends.
He said that she was excited to be playing in front of her fans at Tokyo 2020, which starts on July 23.
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