Naomi Osaka Withdraws From the French Open, Citing Mental Health Issues
“The truth is I have suffered long bouts of depression since the US Open in 2018 and I have had a really hard time coping with that,” she said in a statement. She had previously expressed anxiety over media interviews and have been fined with $15,000 and threatened disqualification for skipping her post-match press conference at the French Open
Japanese tennis player and four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka announced her decision to withdraw from the French Open.
Her statement comes after the tournament warned her of her impending expulsion if she continues to “boycott post-match news conferences at the tournament,” Al Jazeera reported.
She was also fined $15,000 by the organizers for skipping a news conference following her first-round win.
Naomi explained in a statement that her decision to withdraw—and skip press conferences after games—is due to her mental health.
“Hey everyone,” she started, “this isn’t a situation I ever imagined or intended when I posted a few days ago. I think now the best thing for the tournament, the other players and my wellbeing is that I withdraw so that everyone can get back to focusing on the tennis going on in Paris.
“I never wanted to be a distraction and I accept my timing was not ideal and my message could have been clearer. More importantly, I would never trivialize mental health or use the term lightly.
“The truth is I have suffered long bouts of depression since the US Open in 2018 and I have had a really hard time coping with that.”
According to Al Jazeera, French Tennis Federation president Gilles Moretton said, “We are sorry and sad for Naomi Osaka that she has withdrawn from the tournament.”
Lead photo from @naomiosaka