Naomi Osaka, world number two, withdraws from French Open after media boycott fallout

The announcement by the Japanese tennis player came amidst the ongoing controversy regarding her decision of boycotting press conferences at the ongoing French Open.

Created On: Jun 1, 2021 10:48 ISTModified On: Jun 1, 2021 10:48 IST
Naomi Osaka withdraws from French Open

Naomi Osaka, the Japanese Tennis Player announced on May 31, 2021, that she has decided to withdraw herself from French Open Tournament.

The announcement by the World Number two came amidst the ongoing controversy regarding her decision of boycotting press conferences at the ongoing French Open.

Osaka, in a statement released on Twitter, stated that this is not a situation she ever imagined or intended when she posted a few days ago. She added that now the best thing for the tournament, the other players, and for her own well-being is that she withdraws so that everyone can get back to focus on the tennis tournament going on in Paris.

Naomi Osaka further explained that she never wanted to be a distraction and she accepts that her timing was not ideal. She further mentioned that more importantly, she will never trivialize mental health or use the term lightly.

Naomi Osaka fined for skipping Press Conference:

World Number Two Naomi Osaka on May 30, 2021, was fined 15,000 dollars for skipping the press conference after her win in the first round in the ongoing French Open.

The Tournament organizers had also mentioned that the Japanese Tennis Star can be subjected to additional sanctions if she continues to ignore her media obligations.

Why Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from the tournament?

The Japanese Tennis Player in her statement explained that she has suffered long bouts of depression since the US Open 2018 and that she had a really hard time coping with that.

Osaka mentioned that even though the tennis press has always been kind to her, she is not a natural public speaker and gets huge waves of anxiety before she speaks to the world’s media. She gets really nervous and finds it stressful to always engage and give the best answers she can.

The Tennis player further added in her statement that in Paris for French Tournament, she was already feeling anxious and vulnerable and that she thought it was better to exercise self-care and skip the conference.

She announced her decision preemptively as she feels like the rules are quite outdated in parts and that she wanted to highlight that. Naomi Osaka wrote privately to the tournament apologizing and stating that she will be happy to speak with them after the tournament as the slams are intense.

Taking some time away from the court: Naomi Osaka

The Tennis Player has informed that she will be taking some time away from the court now but when the timing is right she will want to work with the Tour to discuss ways to make things better for the players, fans, and the press.

Background:

Naomi Osaka had defeated Patricia Maria on the opening day of the French Open Tournament on May 30, 2021. However, she decided to skip the press conference after the match, leading to the fine imposition of 15,000 dollars.

Osaka had announced last week that she will not be taking part in press conferences during the French Open tournament in order to ensure better mental health.

With this victory, the tennis star has also extended her winning streak at the Grand Slams to 15 matches in a row.

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