Naomi Osaka is changing people's attitude to mental health

Our readers have their say about the tennis superstar, India's Republic Day, the Ukraine standoff and individual responsibility

Naomi Osaka during a news conference after losing her third-round match against Amanda Anisimova at the Australian Open this month. Reuters

I am writing in reference to the article Defending champion Naomi Osaka crashes out of Australian Open (January 21): the world frowned when Naomi Osaka wanted to take a break from tennis to deal with her mental health issues. She was heavily criticised last year for failing to speak to the media and publicly disagreeing with French Open officials. She not only withdrew from the tournament, she also skipped the traditional news conference – considered a sin by many organisers.

But Osaka rightly chose her mental well-being over silverware at the French Open and Wimbledon thereafter. She reminds us that mental health issues are often ignored. To perform at the top level, one needs physical strength and sound mental health.

She came back determined for the Australian Open this year after a well-deserved break, hoping to defend the title. Unfortunately for her, she lost in the third round.

Osaka may not have won the cup but she has won our hearts by coming back to the court and being honest. She has set a good example for those who haven’t taken mental illnesses seriously. As she once said, "it’s OK not to be OK, and it’s OK to talk about it". One hopes her remarks about mental health will reverberate throughout the world.

Dr Praveen Sreekanthalal, Abu Dhabi

India-UAE ties key to our future

I am writing in reference to Ambassador Sunjay Sudhir's op-ed The 'living bridges' between India and UAE (January 26): I was excited to read the ambassador's piece on India's 73rd Republic Day. For it was apt for him to talk about the relationship that India and the UAE have enjoyed long before both nations came into being. Indeed, the peoples of South Asia and the Gulf have for centuries engaged with each other through trade, commerce, cultural exchange and marriage.

Millions of Indians, including yours truly, have spent most of our adult lives in the UAE. We have contributed to the country's growth and, in return, sent much-needed remittance home. In a way, the two nations and their peoples have grown together.

We are always forward-looking. And even as the pandemic has set us all back, I believe this period is transitory. We shall overcome – together.

K Ragavan, Bengaluru, India

Stop fanning the Ukraine fire

I am writing in reference to the article Russia 'must choose diplomacy or conflict' Blinken tells Lavrov in 'frank' Ukraine talks (January 21): this may be a case of “more hype than reality”, but too much hype can result in reality. Why can’t both parties sue for peace, even before war breaks out, and arrive at a compromise? The US and Nato must not fan the fire, as even they will not escape the impact of a possible titanic clash.

Nazim Hasan Khan, India

Grateful to be living in Dubai

I am writing in reference to Andrew Scott's video Dubai brings cyberspace to its doorstep (January 24): those of us living in Dubai have so much to be thankful for – the amazing infrastructure, 24/7 electricity and water supply, cleanliness and, most importantly, security. The emirate is currently hosting the Expo, one of the world's biggest events. It is also leading many initiatives, in collaboration with other emirates, including producing renewable energy, creating sustainability, providing vaccinations and launching people and probes into space.

We must, however, never become complacent or self-centred. We must do our part to help the authorities maintain the city and sustain all that is rich and wonderful about it. We can start by being more mindful of the hard work being put in by essential workers and the authorities to keep our surroundings clean. A question worth asking oneself, always, is whether I as an individual love Dubai as much as Dubai loves me.

Sanjeev Ipe, Dubai

Published: January 28, 2022, 3:00 AM