Naomi Osaka says she will withdraw from the French Open, announcing Monday on social media that she will “take some time away from the court” just one day after she was fined and threatened harsher sanctions for skipping her mandatory media obligations.
Osaka, in a lengthy statement, said she “never wanted to be a distraction” and that her withdrawal is “the best thing for the tournament, the other players and my well-being.”
“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,” Osaka wrote. “I never wanted to be a distraction and I accept that my timing was not ideal and message could have been clearer.”
Social media reacted in a negative way to her announcement, with some calling her a spoiled brat for her actions:
Gilles Moretton, the president of the French Tennis Federation, read a brief statement after her decision:
“First and foremost we are sorry and sad for Naomi Osaka,” said Moretton. “The outcome of Naomi withdrawing from Roland Garros is unfortunate. We wish her the best and the quickest possible recovery and we look forward to having Naomi in our tournament next year. As all the Grand Slams, the WTA, the ATP and the ITF, we remain very committed to all athletes well-being and to continually improvinNaomi Osaka Pegged As A ‘Spoiled Brat’ For Withdrawing From French Open After Fine, Threat of Sanctions over Media Obligations (TWEETS)g all aspects of players experience in our tournaments including with the media like we have always tried to do.”
The 23-year-old has revealed that she has battled depression and anxiety since winning her first major at the 2018 US Open and explained speaking to the media often makes her nervous.
“I am not a natural public speaker and get huge waves of anxiety before I speak to the world’s media,” she said. “I get really nervous and find it stressful to always try and engage and give [the media] the best answers I can.”