Gael Monfils: I feel for Naomi Osaka, I was struggling myself also

Former world No. 6 Gael Monfils couldn’t hide his happiness after beating Albert Ramos-Vinolas 1-6 7-6 (6) 6-4 6-4 to reach the French Open second round. 

After easily losing the opening set, Monfils regrouped and won the following three sets to clinch a comeback win. 

“That was incredible. Every day, I’m working to be on big stages like that with big crowds. It’s an exchange with them, you give energy, they give back. I can’t be happier that now,” Monfils said after beating Ramos-Vinolas, per Tennis Majors.

“Both of my parents were, my brother, my cousins, my auntie. I was missing them, I was missing that. That was huge for me. I was happy. It’s better and better even if I had some bad losses. I put that win on the crowd and my parents.”

Monfils defends Naomi Osaka

On Monday, Osaka pulled out of the French Open and revealed she has been battling depression for a few years. 

“I think now the best thing for the tournament, the other players and my well-being is that I withdraw so that everyone can get back to focusing on the tennis going on in Paris,” Osaka said.

“I never wanted to be a distraction and I accept that my timing was not ideal and my message could have been clearer.

“More importantly I would never trivialise mental health or use the term lightly.

“The truth is that I have suffered long bouts of depression since the US Open in 2018 and I have had a really hard time coping with that.”

Monfils feels for Osaka as he hopes she will overcome the difficulties she is dealing with now. 

“It’s a tough situation for Osaka. I feel for her. I was struggling myself also. It’s very tough. She’s a real champion so champions are sometimes dealing with things bigger than us, the good players. She’s young. She can’t maybe manage all the pressure,” Monfils said. 

“Naomi is still a human being. What’s happening is very sad. It’s tough to say if she was right or wrong. She was in-between. I’m just waiting. I’m curious about what they’re gonna change. I wish her quick recovery. We need her to be 100% and back happy.