Venus Williams has delivered the most important mic-drop second of the 2021 French Open, giving a stinging response to why she’s by no means struggled at press conferences.
Talking a day after Naomi Osaka withdrew from the clay courtroom main following intense scrutiny round her choice to not do media, Williams was blunt when requested if she’d ever had any points conducting press conferences.
“For me, personally, how I cope with it was that I do know each single particular person asking me a query cannot play in addition to I can and by no means will,” she mentioned.
“So it doesn’t matter what you say or what you write, you may by no means mild a candle to me.
“That is how I cope with it. However every particular person offers with it in another way.”
Williams has been broadly praised for her response because the commentary surrounding Osaka’s withdrawal from the event continues.
Osaka additionally acquired help from former US Open champion Sloane Stephens following the American’s win over Carla Suarez-Navarro.
“I feel as a substitute of mainly traumatizing her and making enjoyable of her scenario, we must be extra accepting and permit her to take the time she must work on herself and higher herself so she will be in a greater place to play tennis and be blissful,” Stephens mentioned.
“I’ve learn lots of issues that have been simply unkind and really insensitive and I simply really feel like there is not any room for that.
“There isn’t any area for negativity. There isn’t any room for kicking somebody once they’re already down.”
Simply days after threatening Osaka’s expulsion from the French Open, the 4 Grand Slams launched one other assertion providing their full help.
“On behalf of the Grand Slams, we want to provide Naomi Osaka our help and help in any manner doable as she takes time away from the courtroom,” the assertion learn.
“She is an distinctive athlete and we sit up for her return as quickly as she deems acceptable.
“Psychological well being is a really difficult challenge, which deserves our utmost consideration. It’s each complicated and private, as what impacts one particular person doesn’t essentially have an effect on one other.
“We commend Naomi for sharing in her personal phrases the pressures and anxieties she is feeling and we empathize with the distinctive pressures tennis gamers might face.
“Whereas gamers’ wellbeing has all the time been a precedence to the Grand Slams, our intention, along with the WTA, the ATP and the ITF, is to advance psychological well being and wellbeing by way of additional actions.”
The newest assertion takes a markedly totally different tone to the one struck final week when Grand Slam organizers threatened Osaka with fines and suspension.
“We now have suggested Naomi Osaka that ought to she proceed to disregard her media obligations in the course of the event, she can be exposing herself to doable additional Code of Conduct infringement penalties,” the sooner launch mentioned.
“As is perhaps anticipated, repeat violations entice harder sanctions together with default from the event (Code of Conduct article III T.) and the set off of a serious offence investigation that would result in extra substantial fines and future Grand Slam suspensions (Code of Conduct article IV A.3.).”
Osaka, who’s doubtful for Wimbledon later this month, additionally acquired help from Serena Williams after the 23-time Grand Slam winner’s first-round victory over Irina Begu.
“The one factor I really feel is that I really feel for Naomi,” Williams mentioned.
“I really feel like I want I might give her a hug as a result of I do know what it is like. Like I mentioned, I have been in these positions.”
“We now have totally different personalities, and individuals are totally different. Not everybody is similar. I am thick. Different individuals are thick. Everyone seems to be totally different and everybody handles issues in another way.
“You simply should let her deal with it the best way she needs to, in one of the simplest ways she thinks she will, and that is the one factor I can say. I feel she’s doing the very best she will.”