Naomi Osaka said on Monday she was withdrawing from the French Open and wrote on Twitter that she would be taking some time away from the tennis court, a stunning move by the four-time Grand Slam Champion who also said she had “suffered long bouts of depression.”
Her decision came a day after she was fined $15,000 for not holding a press conference after winning her first-round match.
Officials also threatened to expel her from the French Open and future majors if she continued to refuse to attend news conferences after her matches.
But on Monday, the world number two decided to take matters into her own hands to end the stand-off…
Saying in a post on Twitter: “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 well-being is that I withdraw so that everyone can get back to focusing on the tennis going on in Paris.”
Osaka, one of the biggest names in women’s sport, went on to say she had suffered from depression since the US Open in 2018, which she won by beating Serena Williams in a controversial match.
The French Tennis Federation, organizers of the tournament, called Osaka’s withdrawal “unfortunate.”
Adding: “We wish her the best and quickest possible recovery, and we look forward to having Naomi at our tournament next year.”
Osaka closed her statement by saying: “I’m gonna take some time away from the court now, but when the time is right I really want to work with the Tour to discuss ways we can make things better for the players, press and fans.”