Tennis No.2, Naomi Osaka has on Monday announced that she was withdrawing from the French Open tournament following her refusal to address the media and subsequently being fined. “The best thing for the tournament, the other players and my well-being is that I withdraw so that everyone can get back to focusing on the tennis going on in Paris,” Osaka wrote on Twitter.
The four-time Grand Slam Champion said her decision for not speaking to the press was due to mental health issues, saying she has “suffered long bouts of depression”.
The 23-year old player was fine $15,000 and a written warning threatening disqualification and stiffer punishment if she continued avoiding media obligations.
“I never wanted to be a distraction and I accept that my timing was not ideal and my message could have been clearer,” the four-time Grand Slam title winner said in her statement.
“The truth is I have suffered bouts of depression since the US Open in 2018 and I have had a really hard time coping with that.”
She added that, “In Paris, I was already feeling vulnerable and anxious so I thought it was better to exercise self-care and skip the press conferences.
“I announced it preemptively because I do feel like the rules are quite out-dated in parts and I wanted to highlight that.”