Osaka has experienced a major dip in form since last year and Radwanska believes she may never return to her best self on the tennis court. The Japanese superstar h as won just two matches across her last six tournaments and is on a four-match losing streak. At the same time, the four-time Grand Slam champion has faced mental health issues and has been a vocal advocate of the importance of mental health in tennis.
During a recent interview with WP SportoweFakty, Radwanska opened up about the pressures Osaka has faced ever since she rose to the top in tennis and became a bonafide superstar.
The former Polish player feels that the 24-year-old lacked the support and guidance around her when she was dealing with the demands of being a mega-celebrity.
"Naomi has a huge market under her," said Radwanska. "She is a goddess in Japan, and she does not complain about lack of popularity in the USA. I know this girl and I know that she is not a person who likes to walk on walls, shine in the spotlight. I guess there weren't many people around her who would say: if you don't feel something, don't do it. Match, one session, the second, red carpet."
Radwanska was not surprised that the burden got too big to handle for Osaka and hinted that the pressure is still growing on the 24-year-old.
"I'm not surprised that she did not bear such a burden," added the retired Polish star. "Unfortunately, the pressure is still growing, everyone expects victories from it. I'm afraid Naomi won't be back on her former level."
Furthermore, Radwanska shed light on how stress and mental pressure were 'taboo topics' during her time on the professional tennis tour, stating that depression was considered 'shameful.'
"It was a taboo subject.," revealed the former World No.2. "You have to look at it from a broader perspective. Fifteen years ago, depression was considered a shame in society. 'What are you making up? Tomorrow you will do it!'."