As the 23-year-old Japanese Tennis star was awarded a penalty of US $15,000 on Sunday and threatened with disqualification after she refused to carry out a mandatory news conference following her first round win Naomi Osaka, the No. 2-ranked women’s tennis player in the world, has stunningly quit the French Open on Monday in a dispute over press conferences.
The four-time Grand Slam title winner wrote on Twitter that she would not be doing press conferences, citing the damage they do to players’ mental health.
Then, after the French Open and the other Grand Slam tournaments threatened to expel her if she continued to boycott press conferences with fines.
“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,” the four-time Grand Slam title winner wrote on Twitter.
“The truth is, I have suffered bouts of depression since the US Open in 2018 and I have had a really hard time coping with that. So, I accept that my timing with the press was not ideal but I never wanted to be a distraction,” the world number two title holder wrote in social media
She also wrote in her statement that she is “introverted” and that she is not a “natural public speaker.”
Osaka, who had won her first-round match in Paris, apologized to the “cool journalists I may have hurt.”
However, Osaka’s decision to withdraw from the French Open and take a break from tennis would suggest it’s a sad ending to a story that shouldn’t have ended this way. However, some sort of compromise should have been made and If Naomi Osaka is really suffering from anxiety and depression the authority has to take priority.