Support Grows for Osaka after She Leaves French Open
Naomi Osaka received the support of tennis fans, leading athletes, her sponsors and her country, Japan, Tuesday, after her withdrawal from the French Open.
The world's number two female tennis player surprised the tennis world on Monday when she said she would no longer play in the tennis championship. Osaka said on Twitter that she experiences "huge waves of anxiety" before speaking to the media and she has "suffered long bouts of depression since the US Open in 2018."
The decision came after Osaka was fined $15,000 for not attending a press conference after her first-round victory. She was also threatened by the French Open and other major championships with more punishment, including suspension.
Osaka said she did not want to meet with the media to protect her mental health. Other leading tennis players argued at the time that dealing with the media was part of the job. But when she withdrew, there were many messages of support from around the world.
The head of Japan Tennis Association said in a statement Tuesday, "I wish her the earliest possible recovery." And Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told reporters that he would "watch over her quietly."
There was also concern on the streets of Tokyo for Osaka who will represent Japan in this year's Olympic Games.
Tomomi Noguchi helps people wear the traditional Japanese clothing, a kimono, for photos and events. "I think she's under a lot of pressure, more than we can imagine," she told Reuters. "She got to the top when she was young so I think we can't really imagine what she's going through."
The sports business website Sportico says Osaka has made more than $55 million in the last 12 months, mainly from deals with sponsors like Nissin Foods, Nike and MasterCard. They all came out to support her decision and Nissan, the automobile company said, "We stand by her decision and wish her well."
Support from other athletes
Osaka was an unknown when she won the 2018 U.S. Open championship over American Serena Williams. The crowd was upset with officials' calls against Williams. So, they expressed their displeasure against officials instead of cheering for the new champion.
On Monday, Williams added her support for Osaka saying, "I feel for Naomi. I feel like I wish I could give her a hug because I know what it's like. ... You just have to let her handle it the way she wants to, in the best way she thinks she can."
There were also messages of support from other female tennis champions and athletes including Olympic champion Mo Farah and NBA player Stephen Curry.
Six-times major champion Boris Becker, however, was worried Osaka's tennis career could be in danger because of mental health issues. He told Eurosport, "If she can't cope with the media in Paris, she can't cope with the media in Wimbledon or the U.S. Open. So I almost feel like her career is in danger due to mental health issues."
In her Twitter post, Osaka also said "the rules are quite outdated in parts." She said she is willing to work with tennis administrators to improve things for players, press and fans.
Late on Tuesday, the heads of the four major tennis championships said in a statement, "On behalf of the Grand Slams, we wish to offer Naomi Osaka our support and assistance in any way possible as she takes time away from the court." They added, "She is an exceptional athlete and we look forward to her return as soon as she deems appropriate."
The four Grand Slams include the French Open, Wimbledon, U.S. Open and Australian Open.
I'm Jill Robbins.
1. go through 经历，经受（尤指苦难或艰难时期）；
I don't ever want to go through anything like that again.
2. stand by 继续支持(尤指身处困境的人)；
Peter st ood by me when I most needed it. I'll always appreciate that.
当我最需要的时候，彼得在我身边支持我 。我将永存感激 。
3. in danger 危险；
One of their men was in danger.
4. cope with (成功地)处理，应付，对付；
You will learn to cope with the stresses and strains of public life.
本周一，这名世界排名第二的网球女选手宣布退出法网公开赛，此举令网球界大感意外 。大阪直美在推特上表示，她在接受媒体采访前会经历“严重焦虑”，而且“自2018年美国网球公开赛以来”，她“经历了长时间的抑郁” 。
此前，大阪直美在首轮获胜后因未出席记者会被罚款1.5万美元 。她还受到法网和其他大满贯赛事的威胁，包括可能会对她处以禁赛等处罚 。
大阪直美表示，为了保护自己的心理健康，她不想与媒体见面 。当时其他网球名将认为，与媒体打交道是工作的一部分 。但当她退出时，世界各地纷纷发声支持 。
日本网球协会负责人星期二在一份声明中表示，“我希望她早日康复 。”日本内阁官房长官加藤胜信对记者表示，他将“静静地关注着她” 。
野口智美帮助人们穿日本传统服装和服，进行拍照和参加活动 。她对路透社表示，“我认为她承受着很大的压力，超出我们的想象 。她年轻时就登上了巅峰，所以我认为我们无法想象她正在经历什么 。”
体育商业网站Sportico表示，大阪直美在过去12个月的收入超过5500万美元，其中大部分来自日清食品、耐克和万事达等公司的赞助协议 。这些赞助商均公开发声支持她的决定，日产汽车公司表示，“我们坚持她的决定，祝她一切顺利 。”
大阪直美在2018年美国网球公开赛上战胜美国选手塞雷娜·威廉姆斯（小威）夺冠，当时她还是不知名的选手 。裁判不利于小威的判罚令现场观众感到生气 。因此，他们没有为新的冠军喝彩，而是表达了对裁判的不满 。
周一，小威也发声支持大阪直美，她表示，“我对她感同身受 。我希望我能给大阪直美一个拥抱，因为我知道那是什么感觉 。你只需要让她按照她想要的方式处理它，以她认为她能做到的最好的方式处理 。”
不过，六届大满贯冠军得主鲍里斯·贝克尔担心大阪直美的网球生涯可能会因为心理健康问题而面临危险 。他在接受欧洲体育报的采访时表示，“如果她不能应对巴黎的媒体，她就不能应对温网或美网的媒体 。我感觉她的职业生涯因为心理健康问题而处于危险之中 。”
大阪直美还在推特上表示，“某些规则在某些方面已经过时了” 。她说她愿意与网球管理人员合作，讨论如何为球员、媒体和球迷创造更好的条件 。
周二晚些时候，四大满贯赛事负责人在一份声明中表示，“代表大满贯，我们希望为大坂直美在需要时间离开球场时，提供我们的支持和帮助 。”他们补充表示，“她是一名出色的运动员，我们期待她在认为合适的时候尽快回归 。”