Boris Becker says he fears Naomi Osaka may now need to fight for her career after she lifted the lid on her mental health challenges.
Osaka caused a stir before the tournament when she announced she would not be speaking to the media in a bid to protect her mental health.
However, she faced a fierce backlash over that stance, with many pointing out that it is part of the job and by not doing it she would be giving herself an unfair advantage over rivals.
She was fined after skipping press duties following her first round win at the French Open and warned tougher sanctions could follow, with her subsequently deciding to withdraw from the tournament, explaining the social anxieties she feels when dealing with the press were too much for her to cope with.
Speaking to the Eurosport cube, Becker expressed his support for Naomi Osaka, but said he feared the issue could put her career in real danger.
“Sadly I’ve heard her first response a couple of days ago about this media boycott and she cited mental health issues, that’s something always to be taken seriously, especially from such a young woman,” Becker said.
“She couldn’t cope with the pressures of facing the media, especially after losing a match.
Directing his comment at fellow analyst Mats Wilander, Becker added: “Now Mats, you and me both know that happens frequently and you have to deal with it and I always believed that is part of the job.
“Without the media there isn’t any prize money, there isn’t any contracts. And you don’t get half the cake. I hated the media personally. I didn’t like to speak to journalists but I had to do it.
“She has cited that she is pulling out of the tournament altogether because she can’t cope with it.
“That raises much bigger questions for me because if she can’t cope with the media in Paris, she can’t cope with the media at Wimbledon, she can’t cope with the media at the US Open.
“I almost feel like her career is in danger because of mental health issues and that we should take very seriously.”
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