Naomi Osaka opened up about her mental health on the eve of the U.S. Open, saying in a note shared to social media that she is trying to change her “extremely self-deprecating” view of herself.
The two-time U.S. Open champion wrote that she’s spent a lot of time reflecting on herself over the past year, which included her revealing bouts with depression and withdrawing from the French Open to focus on her mental health.
“Recently I’ve been asking myself why do I feel the way I do and I realize one of the reasons is because internally I think I’m never good enough,” wrote the 23-year-old, who is the USTA’s third-ranked women’s tennis player. “I never tell myself that I’ve done a good job but I do know I constantly tell myself that I suck or I could do better. I know in the past some people have called me humble but if I really consider it I think I’m extremely self deprecating.”
Osaka said she is going to do her best to be more positive with herself.
She wants to congratulate herself on her own accomplishments and think positively.
“Seeing everything that’s going on in the world I feel like if I wake up in the morning that’s a win,” Osaka wrote. “Your life is your own and you shouldn’t value yourself on other people’s standards. I know I give my heart to everything I can and if that’s not good enough for some then my apologies but I can’t burden myself with those expectations anymore.”
Osaka’s mental health came into focus when she skipped press conferences at the French Open earlier this summer because she felt they created doubts for herself.
She was fined $15,000 for not fulfilling her media duties and skipped other major tennis events before returning to compete at the Olympics.
“Honestly, I feel like there’s a lot of things that I did wrong in that moment, but I’m also the type of person that’s very in the moment,” Osaka told reporters at the U.S. Open’s media day on Friday. “Like whatever I feel, I’ll say it or do it. I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing. I think there’s a lot of things that I learned to do better. Of course, I don’t feel the same situation will happen again. I would say maybe think it through a bit more in the way that, like, I didn’t know how big of a deal it would become.”