Naomi Osaka Reveals Meghan Markle Supported Her Break from Tennis to Prioritize Mental Health

Tennis player Naomi Osaka recently shared the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, reached out to her following her announcement to take care of her mental health.

Naomi Osaka revealed Meghan Markle supported her break from tennis to prioritize mental health. In an essay for Time, the athlete thanked those who showed support after withdrawing from the French Open in May.

“I want to thank everyone who supported me. There are too many to name, but I want to start with my family and friends, who have been amazing,” she wrote.

Naomi Osaka attends the Official Draw Ceremony and Gala of the 2019 WTA Finals at Hilton Shenzhen Shekou Nanhai on October 25, 2019 in Shenzhen, China | Photo: Getty Images

Naomi Osaka attends the Official Draw Ceremony and Gala of the 2019 WTA Finals at Hilton Shenzhen Shekou Nanhai on October 25, 2019 in Shenzhen, China | Photo: Getty Images

THE REVELATION

The 23-year-old said there is nothing more important than those relationships. “I also want to thank those in the public eye who have supported, encouraged, and offered such kind words,” she added.

Osaka continued, “Michelle Obama, Michael Phelps, Steph Curry, Novak Djokovic, Meghan Markle, to name a few.” She added Phelps told her that by speaking up, she might have saved a life:

“If that’s true, then it was all worth it.”

TAKING A BREAK

Osaka explained that she should have prepared herself for what later unfolded when she announced that she needed to miss French Open press conferences to tend to her mental health.

In January, the reigning champion announced that she was withdrawing from her second major tournament in a month. The statement released by her team to ESPN disclosed that following her withdrawal from the French Open, she would not play at Wimbledon either.

The statement revealed the world’s No.2 tennis player would be taking some time to be with her loved ones but would be ready for the Olympics and is looking forward to playing in front of her home fans.

Osaka was born in Japan and will play for her country in this summer’s Tokyo Olympics. She withdrew from the French Open after refusing to participate in the post-match press conferences.

Osaka took to social media and cited social anxiety, media pressure, and depression. The post got the world talking, including fellow athletes and celebrities, many of whom stood by her decision.

MARKLE’S MENTAL HEALTH

The four-time Grand Slam Singles champion appeared as a guest on Markle and Prince Harry’s first podcast episode for Archewell Audio on Spotify in December.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been longtime advocates of mental well-being. The couple has also been open about their mental health struggles.

During their interview with Oprah Winfrey, Markle, 39, detailed her ordeal about the treatment she received as a royal family member, which led to her mental "breaking point."

Markle told the media mogul that she sought help because she had suicidal thoughts, but they did not do anything to assist her. After that, she did not see a solution and explained:

"Yeah, there was a breaking point. I didn’t see a solution. I would sit up at night, and I was just like, ‘I don’t understand how all of this is being churned out.’”

She said her condition became worse when she felt it through the expression from her mother or friends who called her crying and told her, "'Meg, they're not protecting you.' And I realized it was all happening just because I was just breathing."

The mom of two admitted she was then ashamed to tell her husband about her suicidal thoughts because she knew how much loss he has suffered.

However, Markle added that she knew if she did not tell him, then she would have gone through with it because "I just didn't want to be alive anymore. And that was a very clear and real and frightening constant thought."

Markle gave Winfrey her reasoning for doing the interview and said she shared her story because many other people are afraid to voice that they need help.

THE RARE STATEMENT

This week, the Sussexes made headlines after releasing a rare statement asking followers and fans to share their own stories of compassion with them to be shared on their website.

“We believe that compassion can unleash incredible change across the world. Our mission at Archewell is to drive systemic, cultural change – one act of compassion at a time. We believe that compassion is at the core of all culture and connection in this world," they wrote.

The royal couple explained every time someone conducts an act of sympathy; the world becomes a better place because the action is at the core of everything we do.  

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