Tennis world No. 3 Alexander Zverev says he was not open about the mental health issues he faced this year but struggled at times because of the intense scrutiny players undergo on a daily basis.
The 25-year-old German, who came from two sets behind to beat Sebastian Baez in the second round of the French Open on Wednesday, said players from 20 to 30 years ago had no idea how bright the spotlight is on the current generation.
Asked about how he coped with the mental pressure of the sport, Zverev told reporters: “I think some players talk about it more often, and more openly, I don’t like to do that. But I had it bad this year. difficult. .
“I think I was pretty depressed at times too.”
Zverev has been at the center of several extrajudicial issues since last year, with the ATP launching an investigation into allegations of domestic violence by his ex-girlfriend.
He was also sent home from the Mexican Open in February for slamming his racket against the umpire’s chair and given an eight-week suspension for ATP-approved events.
“We are constantly in the spotlight,” he says. “I think players from 20, 30 years ago don’t understand because now every little thing you do there’s a camera… or there’s someone who will write about it.
“Nowadays I think with social media and many other platforms there is a lot more engagement and a lot more hate going on.”
Former women’s No. 1 Naomi Osaka, who lost in the opening round at Roland Garros this week, withdrew from last year’s tournament after boycotting post-match media duties on mental health grounds.
Osaka said authorities had made progress on mental health in the past 12 months, but more needed to be done.
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