Not Wanting To Be A Distraction, Naomi Osaka Withdraws From French Open
by Staff | May 31st, 2021, 2:23 pm

After announcing last week that she would boycott press conferences at the French Open, and then incurring a $15K fine for skipping her first round presser plus a future default if she continues her stance, 4-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from the French Open, she posted today on social media.

“Hey everyone, this isn’t a situation I ever imagined or intended when I posed 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. I never wanted to be a distraction and I accept that 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 that I have suffered long bouts of depression since the US Open in 2018 and I have had a really hard time coping with that.

“Though the tennis press has always been kind to me (and I wanna apologize especially to all the cool journalists who I may have hurt), I am not a natural public speaker and get huge waves of anxiety before I speak to the world’s media. I get really nervous and find it stressful to always try to engage and give the best answers I can.

“So here 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’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. Anyways I hope you are all doing well and staying safe, love you guys and I’ll see you when I see you.”

Osaka was the No. 2 seed. She had never been past the third round. She will take her 15 match Grand Slam win streak into Wimbledon, if she plays.

Ana Bogdan, who would have been her opponent on Wednesday, moves into Friday’s third round.

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2 Comments for Not Wanting To Be A Distraction, Naomi Osaka Withdraws From French Open

Ahfi Says:

Generally, stuff posted on social media tend to cause a distraction especially when people don’t understand the genesis of the problem.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Really doesn’t sound like the Open made any attempt to communicate with her at all. I feel terrible for her. She’s at the top of her game, building her legend, and now she misses a slam, and who knows how this will affect her mental health in the future.

I can’t believe with all the resources the tour has, that they could not have reached out to her privately and worked this out.

I understand tours have mandatory pressers for a reason, but every business has regulations regarding employee health, and of course that involves trust that people won’t take advantage of the system. This is true for any social service or benefits offered. The tour needs to adapt.

Naomi’s post was brave. I can’t imagine how difficult it was for her to share that publicly, but every time a public figure does so, it helps everyone.

Tennis-X: Edit your incorrect text please. Osaka did not ‘boycott’ the pressers. She withdrew from them boycott means its a protest. Just incorrect language, giving the impression that the player did this out of some grudge.

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