I support Naomi Osaka.

After watching professional tennis for over 50 years, I’ve seen enough to know that sometimes criticism is pointed in the wrong direction and questions are not always fair or appropriate in following interviews.

The Tennis Association needs to change its “iron-fistedness” and care more about players’ needs; show more compassion. I’ve seen great players forced to leave the circuit, and I applaud their strength to do so.

While some players have had advantages like time, life experiences and strong people behind them — “all helping them to toughen up” — others have not.

I watched this wonderful young woman, Naomi Osaka, at the 2018 U.S. Open, as she was robbed of her beautiful moment when Serena Williams had her tirade and “hissy fit.”

I see no difference between players who need a break to take care of mental issues, and those who need to pull out of tournaments to heal a physical injury.

The players who are now saying “I have no problem” do so because they haven’t had a problem . . . “yet,” and want to look tough.

I say to Naomi, heal yourself, and carry on as you wish.

Harolyn Zaldumbide, Lewiston


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