Naomi Osaka says Michelle Obama and Djokovic offered support after French Open

Tennis star has spoken of experience of anxiety and depressionOsaka published essay in Time in run-up to Tokyo Olympics

Naomi Osaka says former first lady Michelle Obama, Novak Djokovic, Meghan Markle and NBA star Stephen Curry were among those who reached out to offer support after she withdrew from the French Open to take a mental health break.

In an essay that appears in Time’s Olympic preview issue, and will be on sale in print on Friday, Osaka – a four-time grand slam champion – writes that she hopes “we can enact measures to protect athletes, especially the fragile ones,” and suggests they be allowed to sometimes skip media obligations without punishment.

Related: Sport loves athletes with mental health issues – as long as they shut up and play | Marina Hyde

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