Elina Svitolina has been one of the promising talents on the WTA Tour and even though she is yet to win her maiden Grand Slam title, she has already won 5 Major titles which include consecutive Italian Open titles in 2017 and 2018, also winning the year end Championship in 2018.
She began her 2021 French Open successfully winning 6-2, 7-5 in the first round as she chases her first ever Grand Slam title.
While the tournament is itself a big event in the tennis world, the first week was filled with controversy and received global attention for the outcomes from the heavily debated days.
World No. 2 and 4-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka had declared that she won’t be attending any press conferences this year at the Roland Garros to protect her mental health and was ready to pay any fine that was charged against her.
Before her 2nd round match on 31st May, 2021 Naomi had her name withdrawn from the tournament revealing having faced mental issues since 2018 and needed time away from the sport to focus on her well being.
Naomi’s decision was met positively by many but some were critical as well about her decisions and timings of the decisions. However, for bringing the issue of mental health in front of the world, Naomi was applauded and sympathised by fellow players and fans globally.
Speaking about the issue, Elina Svitolina was in support of Naomi’s decision and backed the Japanese superstar for taking steps towards her well being. “A lot has been said about her case. It is what it is. She made her decision, and I wish her a speedy recovery because it seems like it really damaged her mentally.” said Elina about Naomi’s withdrawal.
Elina Svitolina to play against Ann Li in 2nd round of French Open 2021
Naomi Osaka made a winning start in the tournament, winning the 1st match in straight sets. She stayed true to her words and skipped the press conference and was charged $15,000 by the tournament for not appearing in front of the media. While Naomi happily accepted the fine, she was firm to not attend further conferences as well.
While many anticipated more drama to unfold, Naomi’s withdrawal put an end to it and protection of the mental health of athletes has again received attention as all the involved authorities look to protect the players at all times.
Elina Svitolina continues her run in the French Open 2021 and will now be up against American Ann Li who also won her first round match in straight sets with a scoreline of 6-1, 6-0 with the match scheduled for 3rd June, 2021.