SAN FRANCISCO – Practically born a star, Michelle Wie West is aware of what it’s like to really feel immense pressure in the highlight. She’s battled insufferable wrist accidents and fixed chatter from the exterior world choosing aside her sport. Now a veteran on tour, she can relate to the younger athletes bravely opening up about their psychological well being struggles.
“My lows have definitely been well-documented throughout the years, and there’s a lot of tough times,” Wie mentioned Tuesday at the U.S. Women’s Open. “I thought what Naomi did this past week was incredibly brave.”
Currently ranked No. 2 by the Women’s Tennis Association and a four-time grand slam champion, Naomi Osaka withdrew from the French Open this week to prioritize her psychological well being. The 23-year-old shared her struggles via a weak message written on the iPhone Notes app, telling the world that she has suffered “long bouts of depression since the US Open in 2018” and skilled intense social anxiety earlier than talking to the “world’s media.”
“I’m really proud of athletes taking charge of their mental health and making it a priority. More conversations need to be had about that,” Wie West mentioned.
Wie West, who stepped into the highlight at age 10 as the youngest participant to qualify for a USGA novice championship, understands the pressure. Unlike most youngsters, Wie grew up quick, turning skilled at 16 and receiving an unlimited quantity of publicity and endorsements from the get-go.
“I do get anxiety talking to media, because I know it’s the same questions every week,” she mentioned, citing a priority of Osaka’s, who introduced prior to the French Open that she wouldn’t be doing press conferences.
Questions of rankings, preparation, projections, course circumstances – the media buzzes over it, curious to get all the perception from the gamers. Meanwhile, gamers reply with phrases like course of, current second and enjoyment as a result of they know all too effectively what occurs after they get too wrapped up in the noise.
Wie West, competing in her first U.S. Women’s Open since 2018, is having fun with each second – embracing a “beast” of a course at the pristine Olympic Club. She’s now 31, a spouse, a mother and somebody higher outfitted to deal with the obligations of her career and the anxieties that can come together with them.
“It’s truly an honor to be back, especially being a USGA champion,” the 2014 winner mentioned. “It always has a really special feel to it.”