Naomi Osaka, the World Number two tennis star, has announced that she is withdrawing from the ongoing French Open, on Monday. The decision comes in the wake of the $15,000 fine imposed on her over boycotting the media. Osaka has openly prioritized her mental health, thus chose not to address any media conferences. The 23-year-old took to Twitter where she wrote about her decision.
Osaka Wrote, “Hey everyone, this isn’t a situation lever imagined or intended when I posted 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. Anyone that knows me knows I’m introverted, and anyone that has seen me at the tournaments will notice that I’m often wearing headphones as that helps dull my social anxiety.”
“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 you the best answers I can.”