Golfer Rory McIlroy supported Naomi Osaka’s decision to take a breather from tennis after eliminating Japanese No. 3 from the US Open last week, saying it was important for athletes not to let themselves be defined by the results. .
A tearful Osaka told reporters that she would then take a break from the sport crashed into Flushing Meadows with 19-year-old Leylah Fernandez in the third roundand added that she has been struggling with anxiety and depression for the past few years.
After his last round at the tour championships – where he ended in a draw – McIlroy said he had experienced similar problems in his own career.
“I talked about this in 2019 about separating who I am as a golfer and who I am as a person, and I’m not trying to let that define me, and it seems like Naomi is the same at the moment,” said the four. -time big winner said.
‘How can I play tennis and enjoy it and not let the results determine who I am? I think everyone should just give her time to figure it out. ‘
Osaka has received support from several athletes, including tennis greats Billie Jean King and Boris Becker, as well as former US sprinter Michael Johnson, with many praising her for bringing up a new conversation about mental health.
“She looks like a very smart girl, and hopefully she will be able to do that and come back and enjoy the game, just like when she picked up the rocket when she was a little girl,” McIlroy added.