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Naomi Osaka withdraws from French Open, citing struggle with depression and anxiety

Naomi Osaka withdrew from the 2021 French Open on Monday, 1 working day just after she was fined $15,000 and threatened with suspension for her refusal to show up at match push conferences, writing that these media appearances brought on “massive waves of panic.”

Osaka experienced declared on the eve of the Grand Slam tournament that she would not converse to the media, to defend her psychological health and fitness.

“I feel now the greatest matter for the event, the other gamers and my perfectly-being is that I withdraw so that everybody can get back again to focusing on the tennis going on in Paris,” the 4-time Grand Slam winner wrote in a lengthy publish throughout social media. “I never ever wanted to be a distraction.”

The Entire world No. 2 pressured that she would never trivialize psychological overall health, revealing that she has suffered from melancholy considering the fact that the 2018 U.S. Open up — the exact 12 months she defeated Serena Williams in a contentious last that experienced both gamers in tears.

She extra that she gets anxiety just before talking to the world’s media. “I get genuinely nervous and obtain it stressful to generally consider to engage and give you the very best solutions I can,” she wrote, introducing that she wears headphones to assist her uninteresting her social stress.

The 23-calendar year-outdated apologized to the “amazing journalists” for not speaking to them, declaring that they have constantly been type to her. She also said she wrote privately to the event to apologize, and that “when the time is correct I want to focus on techniques we can make things superior for the players, press and fans.”

Until then, she announced, she would get some time away from the court.

The Fédération Francaise de Tennis, which oversees the French Open, introduced a assertion from President Gilles Moretton in response to Osaka’s announcement.

“Initially and foremost, we are sorry and unfortunate for Naomi Osaka. The final result of Naomi withdrawing from Roland-Garros is unfortunate. We wish her the very best and the fastest probable recovery, and we look forward to acquiring Naomi at our Event following 12 months,” the statement go through. “As all the Grand Slams, the WTA, the ATP and the ITF, we continue being very dedicated to all athletes’ perfectly-staying and to frequently improving each and every part of players’ practical experience in our Tournament, which include with the Media, like we have constantly strived to do.”

Osaka introduced Wednesday that she would not discuss with media at the French Open, declaring that necessitating athletes to chat about their losses immediately after a video game was akin to “kicking a man or woman even though they’re down.” Her choice, she said at the time, was “practically nothing individual to the match.”

Just after defeating Patricia Maria Tig on Day One particular of the event on Sunday, she participated in the standard on-courtroom interview, but did not appear for the larger put up-match push conference afterward.

That was when the 4 Grand Slam businesses issued a joint assertion standing in help of players’ mental wellness, reminding her of her media obligations but eventually issuing her a $15,000 good and threatening harsher punishment if she ongoing to skip the push conferences.

Naomi Osaka
Naomi Osaka just after successful her To start with Spherical match versus Patricia Maria Tig on Day Just one of the 2021 French Open

Julian Finney/Getty Images

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