Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka withdrew from the French Open on May 31 after boycotting a news conference and being threatened with disqualification, revealing her battle with depression.
“The truth is that I have suffered long bouts of depression since the U.S. Open in 2018 and I have had a really hard time coping with that,” Osaka said in a statement posted on Twitter.
“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,” the 23-year-old winner of four Grand Slams said.
Her remarks came after organizers fined Osaka $15,000 (¥1.65 million) and threatened to disqualify her from the tournament after the world No. 2 skipped a news conference following her first-round victory May 30 over Romania’s Patricia Maria Tig in Paris.
The board of the four Grand Slam tournaments said May 30 that Osaka had been fined for refusing to “honor her contractual media obligations” and faced suspension or expulsion from the event if she continued to snub the news media.
Osaka had announced on social media before the French Open that she would be skipping news conferences for the sake of her mental well-being. (Kyodo)