Anxiety and Depression Pushes Naomi Osaka Withdraws From French Open

Updated: Jun 2

Four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka announced her withdrawal from the French Open Monday via Twitter. Osaka, who was born in Japan and moved to the United States at age 3, was fined $15,000 for skipping the post match news conference after her first-round victory at the French Open, and cites "huge waves of anxiety" before speaking to media outlets and having suffered "long bouts of depression" as reasons for the announcement.

French tennis federation president Gilles Moretton made a statement Monday regarding Osaka's withdrawal.

"First and foremost we are sorry and sad for Naomi Osaka. The outcome of Naomi withdrawing from Roland Garros is unfortunate," she said. "We wish her the best and the quickest possible recovery. And we look forward to having Naomi in our tournament next year."

In her Twitter post, Osaka revealed that she had been dealing with depression since the 2018 U.S. Open, which she was victorious in after beating Serena Williams. She wrote, "I would never trivialize mental health or use the term lightly...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."

After being asked about Osaka on Monday, Williams replied, "I feel for Naomi. I feel like I wish I could give her a hug because I know what it's like...I've been in those positions. We have different personalities, and people are different. Not everyone is the same. I'm thick; other people are thin. Everyone is different and everyone handles things differently.

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