tennis legend Mardy Vis says he might not be alive if it wasn’t for his wife… giving her credit for getting him out of a really bad place with his mental health issues.
Mardy joined us on “TMZ Live” on Tuesday and got real with us about some of his anxiety attacks, which at one point became so overwhelming that he withdrew at the last minute from a major US Open game with Roger Federer …. years before professional athletes opened up about their mental health issues.
As Mardy puts it… his better half, Stacey Gardner, was able to get him out of a dark place and change his perspective with some wise advice at a time when he had panic attacks every day. The revelation gave him the strength to withdraw from the 2012 US Open game he was due to play. Instead, he confronted the media and was candid about his issues.
Mardy went on to champion mental health and how it particularly affects athletes, who were traditionally trained to bottle up their emotions because it was considered weakness.
Mardy, who was diagnosed with severe anxiety disorder, now mentors young tennis players dealing with some of the same issues he’s been through…and there’s a new Netflix documentary about his journey, “Untold: Breaking Point.” He is also the captain of the US Davis Cup team.
MF says it’s encouraging to see other athletes — like Naomi Osaka and Simone Biles — talk about their own inner struggles … and tell us why it’s okay for people to let others know they’re not okay.