The USTA, the governing body for US tennis, announced this Tuesday that players competing in the US Open will have a mental health care center. Another Grand Slam of the season, the US begins next Monday.
The USTA said in a statement that tennis players will receive a “comprehensive medical services program” at the Flushing Meadows complex, which will include access to mental health professionals and “quiet rooms.”
US Open final for Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev La US Open – Foto: Al Bello / Getty Images
“Awareness of the issue of mental health has come to the fore in the context of the global pandemic, with so many people, including players, suffering from their emotions, as a result of Covid-19,” said US Open director Stacey Allister.
Japan’s world number 2 Naomi Osaka touched on the importance of the topic in May, when she gave up her Roland Garros tournament, after making her debut. She refused to participate in post-match press conferences, claiming that she felt pressure. The organization threatened her with a fine, and in the end Osaka gave up to continue competing. Shortly thereafter, it was revealed that the tennis player had suffered from depression for years. The Roland Garros organization stated, after the episode, that she could have acted better regarding the mental health of the athletes. Naomi Osaka will play the US Open.
Osaka Coco’s Gough Duels in Cincinnati – Photo: Dylan Boyle/Getty Images
At the Tokyo Olympics, American gymnast Simone Biles withdrew from some tests, stating that her focus was on her mental health.
USTA Vice President and Professor of Neuroscience at Indiana University and New York University Brian Heinlein said he hopes the program implemented at the US Open will increase access to mental health support.
Our goal is to facilitate access to mental health services such as a physical therapy service, without stigma. We want an environment of luxury.
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