I’ll be honest, Naomi’s defeat to Mladenovic didn’t surprise.
All the talk pre-tournament has been about her split with coach Sascha Bajin which she did open up about on site and her open and honest personality is refreshing.
Naomi spoke following her defeat that the extra attention off the back of her success is something she has struggled to deal with.
I see that however this is a global sport and the attention comes with it as do many sponsorship deals she’s signed since winning in New York.
Now this is where people may not agree with me.
I applaud highly how open Naomi has been throughout her career about how she thinks and the mental health side of tennis I think it is absolutely incredible how honest she is and it really makes you think.
However the dealing with the extra attention is part of the parcel. I get people are different and deal with things in life and emotions differently and Naomi has said about how she feels but someone in her team or PR side would have said post Indian Wells, New York, Melbourne etc… this is about to go big!
We are now at that stage of where ever Naomi turns up the eyes will be on her, that is inevitable.
I like hearing about the emotion and how she feels as mental health is a bit of a taboo in sport and in society but that attention is going to ramp up bigger than it did after winning in New York.
Next up? Defending Indian Wells and Naomi doesn’t have a coach yet…
It is interesting to see what happens next. Indian Wells is a couple of weeks away so there is time to relax and prepare but the pressure is not going away.
That is why I found her defeat to Mladenovic not a big surprise at all as all that has gone on usually backing up a big win is tough anyway but with the coach split and all the talk around it has not helped her.