Serena Williams talks media scrutiny amid Naomi Osaka’s withdrawal from French Open: ‘It made me stronger’

After her first-round victory on Monday at the French Open, Serena Williams discussed anxiety when dealing with the media and said that she experienced it often after matches.

Williams made her comments during the post-match news conference hours after four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka withdrew from the tournament amid scrutiny over her decision to boycott talking to the media.

“Many of them I’ve been into where I’ve been — very difficult to walk in those moments,” Williams said. “But you know, it made me stronger.”

Osaka made the announcement to withdraw on Twitter – one day after she was fined $15,000 for skipping her post-match press conference. She explained her decision in a lengthy statement.

Following the announcement, French Open organizers released a statement saying that it’s “unfortunate” that she withdrew from Roland-Garros, but they “wish her the best and the quickest possible recovery.”

“I feel for Naomi,” Williams added. “Not everyone is the same. I’m thick. Other people are thin. Everyone is different and everyone handles things differently.”

Williams continued: “You just have to let her handle it the way she wants to and the best way she thinks she can. That’s the only thing I can say: I think she is doing the best she can.”