Naomi Osaka’s sister on deleted Reddit post: ‘I f–ked up’

Naomi Osaka’s sister on deleted Reddit post: ‘I f–ked up’

June 1, 2021

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Naomi Osaka’s sister is apologizing after suggesting that the 23-year-old tennis star’s media boycott at the French Open was sparked by shaken confidence from being told too many times that she does not perform well on clay surfaces.

In a since-deleted post on Reddit before Naomi withdrew Sunday from the tournament for the betterment of her mental health, sister Mari Osaka, trying to show her support, wrote:

“Naomi mentioned to me before the tournament that a family member had come up to her and remarked that she’s bad at clay. At every press conference she’s told [she] has a bad record on clay. When she lost in Rome [round one] she was not ok mentally. Her confidence was completely shattered and I think that everyone’s remarks and opinions have gotten to her head and she herself believed that she was bad on clay.

“This isn’t true and she knows that in order to do well and have a shot at winning Roland Garros she will have to believe that she can. That’s the first step any athlete needs to do, believe in themselves. So her solution was to block everything out. No talking to people who is going to put doubt in her mind. She’s protecting her mind hence why it’s called mental health. So many people are picky on this term thinking you need to have depression or have some sort of disorder to be able to use the term mental health.”

Osaka’s refusal to fulfill the media obligations during the tournament led to a $15,000 fine and a threat of suspension. She ultimately withdrew, citing “long bouts of depression” during her career and feeling “vulnerable and anxious” upon her arrival in Paris.   

After deleting her original post, Mari offered up this explanation:

“Ok so I f—ed up,” she wrote. “My words are coming across so horribly to a lot of people who think taking care of mental health is strategic. I didn’t emphasise [sic] the fact that Naomi is dealing with a tone of s–t and honestly fighting for the care of mental health is my post so now a lot of people are taking it as, ‘She doesn’t want to hear criticis. [sic]’ I’m sorry Namoi [sic] I probably made the situation worse.”

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