Home Tennis Roland-Garros 2021 – Serena Williams after the departure of Naomi Osaka: “I would like to take her in my arms”

Roland-Garros 2021 – Serena Williams after the departure of Naomi Osaka: “I would like to take her in my arms”

by archysport

Compassion. This is the predominant feeling in the first reactions on Monday evening after the announcement by Naomi Osaka of her withdrawal from the tournament. An extreme decision, an unprecedented situation and, to be honest, a little sad. Whatever one thinks of the merits of the decision of the Japanese champion to boycott press conferences, to see a player, and a fortiori a player of her caliber, leaving a Grand Slam like this can not please anyone.

Serena Williams, who qualified for the second round by wiping the plaster of the night session behind closed doors, learned the news when she arrived … at a press conference after her victory against Irina Camelia-Begu (7-6, 6-2). Without judging on the merits the positions taken and her decision to leave, the American clearly has empathy for what Osaka is going through. Complicated moments, in front of the press or elsewhere, ups and downs in her personal or professional life, she has known them too. “I would like to take her in my arms because I’ve been there too“, explains the former world number one.

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I have tough skin, others have more sensitive skin

Serena Williams says feel “close“of Naomi Osaka in relation to what she is going through. She finds it echoing certain periods of her career, even if she is aware that not everyone experiences these types of situations in the same way:”Everyone is different, everyone is different and handles what happens to them differently. She and I don’t have the same personality and anyway, there isn’t one person who looks like another. Me, I’m sturdy, I have hard skin, others have more sensitive skin.”

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The important thing, according to her, is to find the right people to talk about this type of problem. And it is not necessarily the relatives. “I couldn’t have necessarily spoken to people in my family, people I know, Said the younger of the Williams sisters. I have been there too and I was lucky enough to be able to talk to people at that time. And it allowed me to relieve myself.”

On the other hand, Serena is convinced, the key is to speak, even if the simple fact of initiating this process is not always easy. “It is necessary to make efforts, she judges. It’s always the same. Efforts to say: Me, I need help, for this or that, I need to talk to someone, whether it’s the WTA, or someone in my life. ‘ I don’t know who, but we have to talk.”

Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams after the 2018 US Open final

Credit: Getty Images

Wilander: “I hope she can come back stronger”

Mats Wilander is also certain that the case of Naomi Osaka is far from isolated, even if the proportions taken are rather unprecedented. “This is a situation that many people know, notes the Eurosport consultant and three-time winner of Roland Garros. But because she’s a star, the fact that she talks about it can help a lot of other people and inspire those who, like them, suffer from these kinds of issues. I hope she can come back stronger“.

The Swede explains for his part that he has not experienced such concerns in his relationship with others, especially the press. “Yet I was very shy at first and my English was abysmal, but I never had any problems speaking to the press“, he tells us, while acknowledging that times have changed:”It’s a completely different situation. We did not have, for example, social networks. She has millions of people following her, waiting for her to speak, wanting to hear from her and all this generates a form of pressure..”

His only regret? The way it all happened. “Everything was done backwards, note Wilander. Everything she says today, that she has suffered since 2018 for example, it should have come before announcing that she would not be doing the press conferences.. “Now, like Serena Williams, he believes that the main thing is to allow Naomi Osaka to find the solutions to deal with her problem. And that her case, as much as possible, makes it possible to anticipate the same kind of phenomena in d ‘ others. “What matters to me is to be aware of these issues“, says Serena Williams.

Naomi Osaka

Credit: Getty Images

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