(Reuters) – American golfer Michelle Wie West mentioned tennis world quantity two Naomi Osaka was “incredibly brave” to withdraw from the French Open within the wake of her choice to boycott post-match media duties.
Osaka introduced her choice on Monday, a day after she was fined $15,000 for not attending a post-match media convention and threatened with expulsion after her first-round win.
The four-times Grand Slam champion had signalled her intentions to skip her media duties to guard her psychological well-being and on Monday mentioned she had suffered from despair and social nervousness.
“I thought what Naomi did this past week was incredibly brave,” Wie West mentioned on Tuesday. “I also understand that part of being an athlete is speaking to the media because that’s how the tournaments get done, (it) is through the media coverage.
“Definitely as a participant, it will get powerful, particularly after having a foul spherical. It’s powerful, particularly if you’re not doing properly, or there’s much more to life than your recreation.”
Osaka has received support from her country Japan, her sponsors, leading sporting figures and tennis fans since she announced her decision.
The four Grand Slam tournaments released a statement on Tuesday commending Osaka for sharing her experience and promised to make things better for players.
Wie West, who won the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open, said there was a need for more conversations regarding the mental wellbeing of athletes.
“It is usually crippling at instances, however I’m actually pleased with athletes taking cost of their psychological well being and making it a precedence,” she added.
(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)