Former world No. 1 John McEnroe feels for Naomi Osaka and Simone Biles as he has underlined the importance of speaking about mental health.
Osaka, a four-time Grand Slam champion, abruptly pulled out of the French Open.
In a statement released, Osaka revealed she has been battling depression and anxiety for years.
Biles, a gymnastic superstar, pulled out of several events at the Tokyo Olympics because she felt she wasn’t where she needed to be in order to compete.
“We hear more and more about the mental health of Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka. This pandemic, an incredible event, happens once every 100 years. The fact that we are talking more about mental health is essential,” McEnroe said, per We Love Tennis.
Osaka set to return soon
After a shock third round US Open exit, Osaka broke down in tears and said she would take another break.
A week ago, Osaka indicated she is ready to return.
“You know, I’ve been playing tennis since I was three years old,” Osaka said on HBO’s ‘The Shop’. “For sure I love the sport. I know I’m gonna play again, probably soon because I kind of have that itch again.
“But it wouldn’t really matter to me if I won or lost. I’d just have the joy of being back on the court. Just to, like, you know, that I’m doing it for myself.”
Osaka revealed she lost her joy and happiness on the court.
“I started to feel like that power was being taken away from me,” said the 23-year-old. “I wasn’t playing to make myself happy and I was more concerned about what would people say about me.
“I used to love the competition and just being competitive. Like if I were to play a long match, the longer it was the more fun it was for me. “And then I just started to feel – recently – the longer it was the more stressed out I became. But I just needed a break to go within myself.”