Tennis News: The USTA is working to guarantee that all areas of player health, including mental health, are addressed. This is good news for Naomi Osaka, who withdrew from the French Open in late May to take a mental health break and then sat out Wimbledon.
The United States Tennis Association (USTA) has stated that players at the US Open will have access to mental health assistance.
At Flushing Meadows, competitors will have access to the tournament’s “extensive medical care package,” which includes access to mental health providers and on-site “quiet rooms.”
It comes after world No. 2 Naomi Osaka withdrew from the French Open in May, citing a disagreement with tournament organisers over forced media appearances, which she claimed put players under undue pressure.
She then said that she had been depressed for many years.
The organisers of the French Open competition later admitted that they could do a better job of addressing the athletes’ mental health.
“Over the course of the global pandemic, the subject of mental health awareness has been thrust to the forefront, as many individuals, including players, have grappled with the stressors and emotions that have occurred as a result of COVID-19,” said Stacey Allaster, tournament director for the US Open.
Brian Hainline, the USTA’s first vice president and a professor of neurology at Indiana University and New York University, said he believed the programme would make mental health care more accessible.
“Our goal is to make mental health therapies as accessible to athletes as injured ankle services – and without the stigma,” Hainline added. “We’ll create an environment that promotes health.”
Former USTA junior national champion Sachia Vickery is the latest athlete to speak out about her mental health.
The world No. 206, who is presently competing in the US Open qualifying competition, took to social media to describe how she deals with anxiety and panic attacks.
“I’ve had severe anxiety and panic attacks since February 2020, which has landed me in the hospital multiple times, which is why I haven’t played much this year,” she explained on Twitter.
“I’m proud of myself for simply coming onto the court today, let alone winning! I’m learning to appreciate all the minor victories and not take them for granted now that I’m a little better. Let’s keep moving forward!”
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