US Open 2021 Hits New Initiatives For Tennis Players Following Mental Health Movement Leader Naomi Osaka

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The 2021 season has been an eventful one for tennis fans around the world. From entertainment to controversies, the game has consistently grabbed the headlines, with a few in particular taking center stage. With surprise losses, early exits, and a goal to make the world a better place, Naomi Osaka was the star of the show. However, it was her decision to bring the mental health conversation to the forefront that drew much needed attention to a topic that had not been discussed.

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Despite being in the shape of a life, Naomi Osaka has refused to put her mental well-being on the line. She has withdrawn from Roland Garros, citing mental health issues. Notably, what was a personal milestone has turned into a global conversation, with many coming to her aid and a few scrutinizing her.

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Either way, as she prepares for the US Open, her then decision has once again shown flourishing results. Ahead of her return to New York, the USTA announced the launch of new mental health initiatives.

A step for the future

Fans around the world are eagerly awaiting the New York-based tournament to serve the action it is famous for. However, as its star formation prepares for their battles, the USTA plays its part, expressing concern for their mental safety. Working in place of ATP, WTA and ITF, the tournament announced the launch of more improved services, considering the mental well-being of the players.

Speaking of the same, Mike Dowse, CEO and Executive Director of USTA, said: “We recognize that ensuring the mental health of players is an area that needs to be addressed, and we are taking formative measures to empower athletes to compete at the highest level.”

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – AUGUST 31: A general view of Arthur Ashe Stadium during the Women’s Singles Third Round match between Naomi Osaka of Japan and Cori Gauff of the United States on day six of the 2019 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 31, 2019 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Emilee Chinn / Getty Images)

“Our goal is to make mental health services as easily accessible to athletes as services for a sprained ankle – and without stigma.” added Dr Hainline, ITF Sport Science and Medicine Commission member. He further said, “We will provide an environment that promotes well-being while providing the resources necessary to easily enable seeking mental health care. ”

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Not in vain, Naomi Osaka

Naomi left Roland Garros after a dispute with tournament authorities and the media. His step sparked a global conversation about player mental health in the medium. Despite strong criticism, renowned entities in the world of sport came to his aid. Strongly supported, Naomi’s sacrifice has now become a remedy for all.

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games – Tennis – Ladies’ Singles – Round 2 – Ariake Tennis Park – Tokyo, Japan – July 26, 2021. Naomi Osaka of Japan celebrates after winning her second round match against Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland REUTERS / Mike Segar

On the business side, Naomi hasn’t been at her best lately. Since her return, she has yet to make a notable appearance. However, fans expect the defending champion to prove her money and taste victory again. She can be proud to know that her actions have made mental health support more accessible to athletes.

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DIVE MORE DEEP

“The era of victory may be over”: tennis legend reflects on withdrawal from 2021 season of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer

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