Osaka tweeted out a message Monday afternoon declaring her plans to withdraw from the tournament while elaborating on her struggles with mental health and initial decision to forego media responsibilities.
The 2021 Australian Open champion revealed she has suffered from “long bouts of depression” dating back to the 2018 U.S. Open. She clarified she has been grateful for the kindness tennis media has shown her through the years, but also detailed her anxieties when facing media members and situations involving public speaking.
Osaka concluded the message by saying she has privately reached out to French Open officials before saying she plans to spend some time away from the sport.
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) May 31, 2021
Osaka previously announced she would not be doing media at the French Open for mental health reasons, also promising to donate any potential fines to mental health organizations.
However, tournament officials were dismayed by the choice.
The French Open issued a statement late Sunday evening–one that was cosigned by the heads of all four Grand Slam tournaments–saying Osaka had been fined $15,000 for refusing to fulfill media obligations, also threatening expulsion from the tournament.
This is not a very good look for the French Open and especially for the governing bodies (WTA and ATP) in the tennis world. It is abundantly clear Osaka never meant to distract from the tournament and was merely hoping to establish greater well-being.
Hopefully Osaka will find solace in the time she plans to take away from the sport.