Dmitry Tursunov gave a harsh opinion on Naomi Osaka, saying that her recent actions haven’t convinced him of her maturity.
Osaka won her first Grand Slam in 2019 and propelled herself into stardom. The 24-year-old became a World No. 1 as well, and was at the peak of her powers. However, she divided opinion after her snubbing of press conferences, and the perception of her has undergone a change.
The Japanese star has been a strong advocate of mental health issues, and has opened up on her issues this season. However, Tursunov gave a harsh opinion on Osaka, and said that she may not be ready for the highest level of tennis.
“It seems to me that she was not ready for the responsibility that fell on her,” he said, as quoted by Tennis World USA.
“After all, many perceived Osaka as a billboard – and in addition, she actively supported various social movements. At the same time, in addition to performing in public, she also needed to train and rest.
“It’s hard when you have a photo session or a mandatory meeting with a sponsor instead of recovery. You feel that you are choking, you are being pulled into a funnel, from which you simply cannot get out.
“By the way, she tried to break the chain – she refused to be interviewed at Roland Garros. But the interview is the responsibility of the players.”
Osaka has been going through a lot recently, and broke down in tears after losing at the US Open.
“Recently, when I win I don’t feel happy. I feel more like a relief,” she had said at the time
“When I lose, I feel very sad and I don’t think that’s normal. I didn’t really want to cry but basically I feel like I’m kind of at this point where I’m trying to figure out what I want to do, and I honestly don’t know when I’m going to play my next tennis match.
“I think I’m going to take a break from playing for a while.”