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Watch: Osaka on Overcoming Depression


It's been a season of change for Naomi Osaka.

The two-time Grand Slam champion rose to No. 1 for the first time, parted company with one coach—Sascha Bajin—and hired another—Jermaine Jenkins—struggled at times with the pressure of expectation that comes from wearing a bulls-eye on your back as world No. 1 at age 21 and surprised many industry insiders leaving apparel sponsor adidas for Nike.

More: New Look Osaka Sweeps Old Nemesis

After sweeping Hsieh Su-Wei in her Stuttgart opener today, Osaka said relying on the strength and positivity from her family helped her combat the sadness, stress and depression she was feeling.

"I'm really grateful for everyone that's sort of been really positive to me during these past few months because it was really rough," Osaka told the media in Stuttgart. "The kid was depressed out here, you know? I feel like just having people who are constantly bringing light and positivity into your life really helps.

"Because you don't know you're feeding off energy until you sort of look out of the situation you're in. I don't know how to explain it. Hopefully, this wasn't something bad to say."



The two-time Grand Slam champion credits her parents and older sister, Mari, for the love and support that's helping her withstand the stress. 

"Definitely my parents," Osaka said. "They actually started trusting me with a lot of responsibilities that I think they wouldn't have before and I'm really grateful for them because I think, I don't know, it's tough as a tennis parent because you're around your kids all the time. We're not really mature...like other people go out of the house...so yeah they'v been really cool. My sister's definitely my favorite human being in the world."

These days, Osaka said she's creating calm on court with a zen approach.

"Enjoying that I'm present, not thinking ahead, not thinking in the past and just enjoying everyone's company," Osaka said of her approach now. "Sort of like living in the now instead of thinking back to what you did... 

"Because you know sometimes before you go to sleep you just start thinking about all of the things you could have done. So it's like that except it's constant. Now, my mind is sort of blank and I'm just enjoying the now."

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