Billie Jean King knows a thing or two about the immense pressure that comes with being a tennis superstar. The legend, as a result, sent a message to Naomi Osaka on Saturday following Osaka’s stunning announcement.
Osaka, who lost in the third round of the U.S. Open on Friday night, is stepping away from the sport. It’s unclear if it will be temporary or permanent. Regardless, she admitted during her post-match press conference that she needs to step away as she continues her battle with mental-health issues.
“I think I’m going to take a break from playing for a while,” Osaka said on Friday. “This is very hard to articulate. Basically, I feel like I’m kind of at this point where I’m trying to figure out what I want to do, and I honestly don’t know when I’m going to play my next tennis match. Sorry.”
King sent Osaka a message of support on Saturday after hearing the 23-year-old’s announcement on Friday.
“Take all the time you need to recover, rest, and heal, @naomiosaka,” King said. “Sending you love and support.”
Take all the time you need to recover, rest, and heal, @naomiosaka.
Sending you love and support.
— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) September 4, 2021
It’s pretty awesome to see so much support for Naomi Osaka, especially when coming from the legendary Billie Jean King.
Osaka has had a very tough year. It mostly began when she announced she wouldn’t be doing press conferences at the French Open. The decision sparked plenty of controversial opinions from notable media members. She then withdrew from the French Open and also Wimbledon.
Osaka played well in the first two rounds of the U.S. Open before falling to an unranked opponents. During the match, she displayed frustration multiple times and even received a chorus of boos at times.
Now, the 23-year-old superstar is stepping away from the sport. It’s unclear when she’ll return.
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