Serena Williams revealed that she wishes she could give Naomi Osaka a big hug after she withdrew from the French Open. Serena Williams only learnt about Osaka’s withdrawal after her first round win. Serena made easy work of Irina-Camelia Begu in straight sets. Osaka refused to take any part in press conferences citing mental health issues. The organizers threatened to disqualify her if she continued to miss them. She first spoke about her struggles with depression after her first Grand Slam win in 2018. She said that any interaction with the media gave her anxiety issues.
“Honestly I just found out before I walked into the press conference, so that’s the extent of it right now for me,” said Williams. “The only thing I feel is that I feel for Naomi. I feel like I wish I could give her a hug because I know what it’s like. I’ve been in those positions.”
“We have different personalities, and people are different. Not everyone is the same. I’m thick. Other people are thin. You just have to let her handle it the way she wants to, in the best way she thinks she can.” she added.
Williams is chasing her 24th Grand Slam title in Paris and will face Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu in the second round. Serena Williams is looking to win her fourth French Open title. She revealed that all players should have someone to bounce things off.
“I feel like there is a lot of articles that they put out. I think you really have to step forward and make an effort, just as in anything. You have to be able to make an effort and say, I need help with A, B, C, and D, and talk to someone,” said Williams. “I think that’s so important to have a sounding board, whether it’s someone at the WTA or whether it’s someone in your life. Maybe it’s someone that you just talk to on a weekly basis.”