Roger Federer has blamed social media for increased stress on the players, especially those like Naomi Osaka who struggle under the spotlight.
Emma Raducanu, who shot to fame by becoming the first qualifier to win a Grand Slam at this year’s US Open, also had to deal with emotional pressure during Wimbledon.
“It’s been amazing, both of their stories,” Federer told GQ magazine recently about Osaka and Raducanu.
“But it hurts when you see what happens and when they don’t feel well. The stress is so great. And I think a lot has to be down to social media.”
Federer turned professional before the turn of the century and believes he was lucky not to have to deal with social media for the early years of his career.
“The first 10 years of my life there was no social media, maybe I had just a website, then the next 10 years social media was everywhere,” he said.
“I can’t imagine going through the beginning of my career with social media – I have no clue how I would have handled it.
“For every 10 nice comments there’s always one negative comment and, of course, that is the one you focus on.
“Players, the tournaments, journalists, we need to sit down together in a room and go, ‘OK, what would work for you and what works for us.’
“We need a revolution. Or at least an evolution of where we are today. It’s a horrible situation. Even when I am feeling down I know I need to act a certain way in front of the world’s press.
“We need to remember that tennis players are athletes and professionals, but we are also human too.”