Japanese professional tennis star Naomi Osaka posted a moving statement about her “extremely self-deprecating” personality, which has affected her career.
Taking to her Instagram, Osaka vowed to change her mindset and cherish her countless accomplishments. “I’ve been reflecting over the past year. So grateful for the people around me because the support I feel is completely unparalleled,” she wrote.
She then said she wouldn’t tell herself that she did a good job if she did and would tell herself that she sucked or “could do better.”
“I know in the past some people have called me humble, but if I really consider it, I think I’m really self-deprecating. Every time a new opportunity arises, my first thought is, ‘Wow, why me?’” she added. Osaka further noted that she will “try to celebrate” her accomplishments more frequently and that we shouldn’t place our value on other people’s standards.
“I feel like if I wake up in the morning, that’s a win. That’s how I’m coming.”
People in the comments were extremely supportive of her heartfelt message and took to the comments of her post to share their sentiments.
“You’re so transparent and warm. Much love to you,” someone wrote.
“Wise beyond your years truly; you are an inspiration. Stay true to yourself and keep winning in life. Love and respect,” another added.
Amanda Gormon, the youngest inaugural poet in US history and an activist, commented on the post with three heart emojis.
Osaka also quelled any future repeats of her sudden leave from the French Open, having admitted that she would have handled the situation differently if given the opportunity.
“I think there’s a lot of things I learned to do better. Of course, I don’t feel the same situation will happen again,” she said, in part, according to AFP.
The four-time Grand Slam winner dropped out of the tournament after opting not to attend post-match interviews with reporters due to her mental health and wellness.
After being fined and warned that similar violations in the future could bring more repercussions, Osaka withdrew from the tournament altogether and decided to skip Wimbledon as well.’
Her actions raised awareness of the mental challenges that athletes face.
Osaka, who ranked third in the year’s final grand slam event, said she prefers getting questions in person rather than on audio and video devices as it seemed “off-putting to be seated in front of a screen.”
She also said it might be one of the reasons why she feels “a lot of nerves.”
“It feels much better to be talking to a human,” Osaka added.
The tennis star, who lit the cauldron in the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremonies only played once since then, lost to Jill Teichmann with a 3-6 6-3 6-3 in the third round at the Cincinnati Masters last week.
Additionally, Osaka’s US Open campaign begins on Monday as she faces Czech star Marie Bouzkováa in the first round at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing, New York.