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Dominic Thiem says Naomi Osaka has earned the right to take a break, points out "she has nothing to prove to anybody"

Dominic Thiem recently extended his support towards Naomi Osaka
Dominic Thiem recently extended his support towards Naomi Osaka
Stan
ANALYST

Dominic Thiem recently talked about Naomi Osaka's decision to take a break from the sport. According to Thiem, Osaka is well within her rights to do so since she is trying to rebuild her mental health.

Osaka suffered a shock third-round exit at the 2021 US Open on Friday, losing Canadian teen Leylah Fernandez. The Japanese served for the match in the second set but quickly unraveled after that to hand Fernandez the biggest win of her career.

Osaka was understandably distraught in her post-match press conference, where she revealed that winning matches no longer brings her happiness. The four-time Slam champion then announced she was going to take a break from the sport, without mentioning any timeline for her return.

In a recent conversation with Tennis Channel, Dominic Thiem was asked for his thoughts on Naomi Osaka's decision. The Austrian, who himself experienced mental struggles in the aftermath of winning his maiden Grand Slam last year, opined that Osaka has earned the right to take such a step.

Thiem also stressed that the Japanese - and all other players - need to be happy on court in order to play their best tennis.

"Yeah, I mean it's absolutely her right to do that and not only for her but for all of us players," Dominic Thiem said. "The most important thing is to be happy on court because if you're not happy you're not gonna perform at your best and she has nothing to prove to anybody."

Naomi Osaka has been going through a tough period mentally for a while. She revealed during this year's French Open that she has been suffering from depression since 2018.

The Japanese's mental struggles also prompted her to forego all her media obligations during the Parisian event. While Osaka no longer shies away from press conferences, she still looks visibly anguished every time she experiences a setback.

Naomi Osaka congratulates Leylah Fernandez after their match
Naomi Osaka congratulates Leylah Fernandez after their match

Dominic Thiem, on his part, believes that Naomi Osaka needs some time away from the sport. He pointed out that the life of a professional athlete is extremely demanding, which is why he reckons it is imperative for everyone to have their head in the right space.

The Austrian added that he is confident Osaka can "come back stronger".

"She won four Grand Slams already, which is stunning and yeah she probably needs some time off the court," Dominic Thiem said. "The life of a professional athlete is demanding and you need to be happy and channeled to do it."
"So if you're not, you needs some time off and then come back stronger, and I'm pretty sure she's gonna do that," he added.

Dominic Thiem reveals the tattoo his mother Karin got after he won the US Open

Dominic Thiem's mother Karin gets a tattoo after every big title her son wins. In a separate conversation on Tennis Channel, the panelists asked Thiem to reveal what tattoo his mother got done after his US Open triumph in 2020.

The defending champion revealed that his mother got a tattoo of the Statue of Liberty, symbolizing the location of his historic triumph.

"It was the Statue of Liberty, it's one of the most famous buildings from New York," Dominic Thiem said. "So, she decided to do that."

Edited by Musab Abid

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