Roger Federer has offered some words of encouragement to Naomi Osaka after the Japanese star lost her World No.1 ranking to Ash Barty.
Federer insisted Osaka will bounce back from a string of setbacks and thrive in the spotlight of being one of the world’s best and a double grand slam winner.
Osaka, 21, won a second consecutive major at the Australian Open in January, but has since reached just one semi-final on the WTA Tour.
At Roland Garros, where she was top seed, Osaka was defeated in the third round and claimed the loss was "the best thing that could have happened".
She also lost in straight sets to Yulia Putintseva in the last 16 in Birmingham on Thursday, opening the door for Barty to take the top spot after she claimed the title.
But Federer sees no cause for concern for Osaka.
"There's no need to explain why you lost, it just happens sometimes," he said at the Halle Open where he claimed an unprecedented 10th title.
‘Still the same person’
Federer, who has won a record 20 career majors, said that the same thing happened to him after he won his first grand slam title at Wimbledon in 2003.
"After that I also didn't win everything," he added.
"From having nothing to lose it suddenly changes, everyone now feels like it's an amazing win to beat you.
"You have a couple of grand slams and you are World No.1, but at the end of the day you are still the same person. You have to take the losses, shake them off and get on with it."
Federer backed Osaka to get to grips with the pressure of being at the very top of women's tennis, and to return to title-winning ways.
"She has a head start with her two grand slams. Now she's done it, she knows she can do it again."
"I think she's doing pretty well. You can't win every week, nobody does that."
In winning the Birmingham title, Barty matched Federer as the only winners of three titles so far this year.
Barty is the first player to win three titles this year on the WTA. Just like Federer on the ATP.— José Morgado (@josemorgado) June 23, 2019
Her remarkable achievements are the talk of the tennis world.
Ash Barty.— Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) June 23, 2019
A big👏👏👏👏Congratulations to @ashbar96 Tremendous story, talent, and most importantly, person...— Chris Evert (@ChrissieEvert) June 23, 2019
Barty’s story is phenomenal in so many ways. But good lord, look at how she backed up her first Grand Slam title.— José Morgado (@josemorgado) June 23, 2019
The ranking rise of Ash Barty after restarting her career.— Darren Cahill (@darren_cahill) June 23, 2019
May 2016 - unranked
Dec 2016 - 272
Dec 2017 - 17
Dec 2018 - 15
June 24, 2019 - No.1
A stunning rise to the top in just 3 years.
Well done @ashbar96 @CTyzzer and your entire team 🇦🇺💚💛👏
Massive Congrats to @ashbar96 on 1 of the most incredible 2 years of a sports life/comeback U will ever see. Middle order batsman for QLDs. Cricket team & coaching at her local club 2 Grand Slam champion & now world # 1 . Talk about having a belief in yourself & your journey! 👏🏻— Rennae Stubbs (@rennaestubbs) June 23, 2019