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Venus Williams says acknowledging her mental health made her ‘tough’

Venus Williams says acknowledging her mental health made her ‘tough’
Mental health has been a topic surrounding tennis this year with Naomi Osaka opening up about the topic

Tennis legend Venus Williams says paying attention to her mental well-being has made her tough and prolonged her career.

The 41-year-old added taking note of her psychological needs has meant her love for the game has continued throughout her 27 years as a professional player.

“My sister Serena and I were taught that we’d have to fight harder than other players to get the respect we deserved. That’s what I thought ‘tough’ meant,” Williams wrote for the New York Times.

“Paying attention to my psychological well-being has allowed me to love the game of tennis for this long. I guess you could say, it’s the thing that has really made me tough.”

Mental health has been a topic surrounding tennis this year after Naomi Osaka revealed her battle with depression after withdrawing from the French Open.

Emma Raducanu’s Wimbledon withdrawal on medical grounds also ignited discussions after the likes of John McEnroe and Piers Morgan had suggested the teenager had to ‘toughen up’ to become a champion.

Williams added she is on a mission to ‘destigmatise’ mental health.

La hun til: “I am excited to lend my voice to destigmatising mental illness, and it starts here: Let’s show up for ourselves and for each other and recognize what it takes to be truly strong.”

She is championing mental health by partnering with therapy service BetterHelp and the Women’s Tennis Association to give those who sign up $2 million towards free therapy.