Tennis star Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from the French Open hours after she was fined $15,000 for not talking to the media after her straight set victory on Sunday.
The 23-year-old made the announcement in a lengthy social media post, saying her decision to avoid the media was taken for “self-care” as she was “already feeling vulnerable and anxious” due to pressure of facing multiple journalists.
“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,” she said in her statement.
“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,” the four-time major champion added, noting that she often suffers bouts of anxiety before facing the media.
She said she felt some “rules are quite outdated in parts and I wanted to highlight that.”
Osaka said she would take some time away from the court but would seek an audience with organizers to find ways of making things better for players.
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) May 31, 2021