The French Tennis Federation says it is unfortunate that Naomi Osaka has announced her withdrawal from the ongoing French Open.
The World number two withdrew from the tournament following the controversy over her refusal to join in press conferences.
In a tweet late Monday, the Japanese said she will be taking some time off the court, adding that she had “suffered long bouts of depression” since winning her first Grand Slam title in 2018.
The 23-year-old, who won her opening match against Romania’s Patricia Maria Tig on sunday, had said last week that she would not do news conferences at the tournament to protect her mental health.
“I never wanted to be a distraction and I accept my timing was not ideal and my message could have been clearer. More importantly, I would never trivialise mental health or use the term lightly.
“The truth is I have suffered long bouts of depression since the US Open in 2018 and I have had a really hard time coping with that,” the four-time major winner said.
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) May 31, 2021
But speaking after Osaka’s withdrawal, French Tennis boss, Gilles Moretton said the withdrawal of the second seed was “unfortunate”.
“We are sorry and sad for Naomi,” Moretton added.
“We wish her the best and quickest possible recovery, and we look forward to having Naomi at our tournament next year.
“As all the Grand Slams, the WTA, the ATP and the ITF, we remain very committed to all athletes’ wellbeing and to continually improving every aspect of players’ experience in our tournament, including with the media, like we have always strived to do.”
The French Open is one of four Grand Slams played annually. And it is played on clay.
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