Four-time Grand Slam winner and the current US and Australian Open reigning champion, Naomi Osaka, has withdrawn from the French Open following her decision to boycott post-match conferences and media activities. The tennis world number two has cited protecting her mental health as a reason for her decision.
The Grand Slam organisers had earlier fined her $15,000 for failing to attend a news conference following her first-round win in the tournament. They had also threatened to pull her out of the tournament if she continued with her decision to skip post-match conferences.
In a Twitter release, the athlete posted “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.”
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) May 31, 2021
She had earlier spoken out about the lack of concern for the mental health of athletes, speaking about her bout with depression after the 2018 US open.
“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.”