Venus on Key to Coping with Annoying Questions

Venus on Key to Coping with Annoying Questions

Venus on Key to Coping with Annoying Questions

Venus Williams has faced tough—and sometimes annoying—questions in pressers after painful losses.

Those experiences give the former world No. 1 unique insight into how Naomi Osaka is feeling.

More: Osaka Withdraws From Roland Garros

World No. 2 Osaka withdrew from Roland Garros—and revealed she’s been battling depression since the 2018 US Open—after criticism and a $15,000 fine over her pre-tournament stance of opting out of mandatory press conferences.

In a show of support, Venus Williams posted in response Osaka’s Instagram announcement, writing: “So proud of you. Take care of yourself and see you back winning soon!”

Asked how she’s coped with challenging questions and outright criticism over a 25-year career of pressers, Venus shared a simple mental device: she reminds herself that none of her interrogators will ever play tennis to the level she’s delivered.

It’s the four-time Olympic gold-medal champion’s method for keeping criticism in perspective.

“For me personally how I deal with it was that I know every single person asking me a question can’t play as well as I can and never will, so no matter what you say or what you write, you’ll never light a candle to me,” Williams said after her French Open first-round loss today.

“So that’s how I deal with it. But each person deals with it differently.”

Asked if she initiated her upcoming Roland Garros doubles partnership with 17-year-old Coco Gauff, Venus replied: “I think the feeling was mutual.”

Photo credit: Mark Peterson/Corleve

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