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"The stress is so great": Federer opens up about the younger generation and their mental health
Roger Federer opened up about social media and the impact that it has on Naomi Osaka and Emma Raducanu.
Published Oct 04, 2021
In 2021, the conversation around mental health and athletes has been more prevalent than ever before, thanks to Naomi Osaka, Simone Biles and more for pushing the importance of it. With so many stressors, such as managing press, media and of course the newest and perhaps worst being social media. Twenty-time Grand Slam champion, Roger Federer recently opened up about younger players such as, Osaka and Emma Raducanu and the unimaginable stress they go through.
Although Osaka grabbed the first major of the season in Australia, she’s battled with anxiety, depression and finding happiness in the game. Federer believes much of this boils down to social media.
“I was following Emma Raducanu’s incredible run in Wimbledon and also Naomi Osaka these last few years – it's been amazing, both of their stories. But it hurts when you see what happens and when they don't feel well.
“The stress is so great. And I think a lot has to be down to social media,” Federer told GQ in an exclusive interview last week.
During the first ten years of his professional career, social media was never a part of the equation. However, the next ten years social media was everywhere and he believes not only platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook need an evolution but also journalists and press.
“I think players, the tournaments, journalists, we need to sit down together in a room and go,
“OK, what would work for you and what works for us...” We need a revolution. Or at least an evolution of where we are today,” he said.
The 40-year-old tennis icon believes there also needs to be more support and overall help for the younger generation. Between the hateful DMs, horrible comments it can be very damaging for even the strongest of players to see this on a constant basis. At the end of the day, tennis players aren’t robots, they are humans that have emotions and it’s hard to completely block out the negativity swarming over social.
“I have no clue how I would have handled it. For every ten nice comments there’s always one negative comment and, of course, that is the one you focus on,” Federer said.
Osaka who is currently battling to find her happiness on the court has withdrawn from this week’s Indian Wells, WTA 1000 event. Meanwhile, Raducanu will make her first main draw appearance at the tournament, it will also mark her first event since her incredible US Open campaign.