Naomi Osaka received support Tuesday off the court from another key constituency, her corporate sponsors, after she withdrew from the French Open citing her mental health.
Osaka, the four-times Grand Slam champion who’s ranked second in the world, pulled out after she was fined and threatened with expulsion for declining to face the media after her first-round match on Sunday, saying she had been suffering from depression and anxiety.
Sports apparel maker Nike praised her for her courage in sharing her mental health experience.
So did Mastercard, saying it’s important to “prioritize personal health and well-being.”
In Japan, automaker Nissan expressed solidarity with its brand ambassador. And Cup Noodle maker Nissin Foods wished her a speedy recovery.
Osaka earned more than $55 million over the past 12 months according to sports business site Sportico. Much of that comes from sponsorship deals with major Japanese and American companies in Japan.
After her exit, she has received support from her country and leading sports figures ranging from Serena and Venus Williams to NBA star Steph Curry.