Saturday, December 4, 2021

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Naomi Osaka Withdraws From French Open After Being Penalized for Refusing Press Conference

Naomi Osaka has taken to her Twitter to announce that she is withdrawing from the French Open after a bitter fall-out from her decision to boycott all media activity at the Grand Slam.

According to the champ, she has “suffered long bouts of depression” and will now “take some time away from the court”.

“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,” the world number two wrote on Twitter.

This comes after the 23-year-old Japanese star was fined $15,000 on Sunday and threatened with disqualification after she refused to carry out a mandatory news conference following her first round win. She had written on the eve of Roland Garros that such post-match interviews were like “kicking people when they are down” and that they had a detrimental effect on her mental health.

“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: “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.”

See her full statement:

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