In a recent podcast, former World No. 1 Andy Roddick discussed four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka's mental health struggles. He also stated that he respects the Japanese player for being open and talking about it.
Naomi Osaka's decision to withdraw from the 2021 French Open, to safeguard her mental health stunned the tennis community and brought mental health issues into the public eye.
Osaka opened up to her fans about her battles with depression and anxiety as she left the Grand Slam tournament as the No. 2 player in the world at the age of 23. The maneuver was revolutionary in the sport and incredibly relatable for many.
On that note, speaking on the Kasich and Klepper podcast, Andy Roddick opined on the 24-year-old's bravery of speaking out publicly about her struggles. He did add that it was inappropriate for her to decline a press conference while also going to numerous other openings and award ceremonies.
"I think a lot of people are going through a lot of things and I respect naomi for kind of coming out and talking about it," Roddick said. "I do think there's probably a fine line between and I don't think you can say you know I don't want to do press but then show up kind of at the opening of a bunch of different things and going to award shows."
"Naomi Osaka is a very bright young woman but I just don't think she has gotten started again"- Andy Roddick
The former US Open champion then went on to discuss how Naomi Osaka needs to find her rhythm on the courts after taking a lot of time off last year.
"I think she took a bunch of time off last year and I just don't think she's gotten started again," Roddick said. "You know in this game you need reps, you need to be able to play tournaments and you can practice as much as you want."
"I am sure there was a lot of prep for primary debates but until you actually get on that stage, it's not the same thing right? You kind of have to find a little bit of a rhythm," he added.
Roddick believes that the Japanese player is an exceptionally "bright" young woman and one of the truly fascinating "prospects."
"Naomi is a very bright young woman," Roddick said. "She said publicly she has some regrets about what happened at the french open last year where she wrote an Instagram post kind of saying it before she actually talked to the tournament directors."
"I think agency probably has a little bit to do with that but she is obviously one of the really exciting prospects," he added.