The former world number four Chemikodet said he was well aware of Naomi Osaka’s struggle but added that his Japanese compatriot must find a way to deal with the pressures that are successfully on the greatest stage.
Osaka, 24, said at the US Open last month that she would take a break from the game to focus on her mental health after losing in the third round to Leila Fernandez.
The former world number one has been struggling for form since she withdrew from the French Open in May after a dispute with tournament officials over the necessary media appearances, which she said. They were negatively affected.
“Osaka and I have one thing in common,” Date, who reached three Grand Slam singles semifinals in the mid-1990s, told the No. 1 Shimbun publication.
“We made a sudden increase in the rankings and we weren’t really ready for what it meant. His personality is such that he takes everything seriously and it only adds to his difficulties.”
Det said Osaka’s temperament was influenced by how she handled the media. “I think she takes questions differently and is very serious about the way she handles questions,” he said.
“You can deal with the media in many ways; you can tell them everything, or a little or nothing. I get the impression that Osaka takes its media responsibilities very seriously.
“Maybe she thinks she has to answer all their questions and that’s how she feels pressured.”
Det, who announced his retirement in 1996 before returning in 2008 and playing for another nine years, said all the top players were suffering from stress.
“But they have to find a way to deal with it,” Det said. “You can’t refuse to attend a press conference just because you’ve lost. You have to find a way to deal with the media.”