The Japanese Naomi Osaka has announced her withdrawal from the French Open. In doing so, she draws the conclusions from the dispute over her press boycott and will apparently no longer take part in her second-round match. This was announced by the 23-year-old Japanese woman Twitter With. The tournament officials had previously threatened Osaka with expulsion if she did not meet her media obligations.
“I think it is now for the best for the tournament, the other players and my own well-being that I withdraw so that everyone can concentrate on the current tennis events in Paris,” wrote the number two in the world.
She never wanted to be “a distraction” at Roland-Garros. “I accept that my timing was not ideal and that my message could have been clearer,” says Osaka. She has been suffering from depression since the US Open 2018. In Paris, she felt vulnerable and finally wanted to protect herself.
Therefore, she wants to get away from the tennis courts first and then work on improvements for the players, the press and fans after her return with the tour.
Shortly before the start of the French Open, Osaka announced via Instagram that she did not want to talk to the media in Paris. Osaka stated that the reason was that the journalists would not consider the mental health of athletes.
Organizer threatened with disqualification
After her first round win against the Romanian Patricia Maria Tig, Osaka did not appear for the mandatory press conference on Sunday, as announced. She was then fined $ 15,000 by the organizers of the French Open.
In the event that the four-time Grand Slam tournament winner would have boycotted the media in the further course of the clay court event, the organizers of the four Grand Slam events had threatened with further, much tougher sanctions. Both an exclusion from the French Open and a suspension for subsequent Grand Slam tournaments had been promised. Osaka now anticipated these possible penalties by withdrawing.
Gilles Moretton, president of the French tennis association FFT, commented on her departure late on Monday evening: “First and foremost, we are sorry and we sympathize with Naomi Osaka”. That the four-time major winner is withdrawing from the tournament is “unfortunate,” said Moretton: “We wish her the best and the fastest possible recovery. We look forward to seeing you next year. “