World No. 2 Women’s tennis player Naomi Osaka has decided to pull out of the ongoing French Open 2021 on Monday following her first round win. Giving information about it on social media, Osaka revealed that she has been struggling with depression ever since winning the US Open 2018 and decide to safeguard her mental health by not taking part in any media activity.
French Tennis Federation President Gilles Moreton confirmed Osaka’s withdrawal from the tournament, saying that he “was sorry and sad” after the Japanese star decided to withdraw from the Roland Garros and hopes she gets well soon.
Naomi Osaka on Sunday was threatened with disqualification, fined $15,000 after she refused to take part in the mandatory press conference following her first round win in French Open. Not only this, all four Grand Slams had threatened Naomi by releasing a joint statement that clearly said that they might possibly expel the star player from Roland Garros and possibly other tournaments.
Osaka has now received support from her fellow athletes, following all the drama.
NBA star Stephen Curry tweeted. “You shouldnt ever have to make a decison like this-but so damn impressive taking the high road when the powers that be dont protect their own. major respect @naomiosaka.”
“Everyone talks about mental health after someone commits suicide but ridicules everyone who tries to protect their mental health. You are strong for standing up and speaking out and even giving up the game you love to protect your mental health. I salute you young queen,” West Indies star cricketer Carlos Brathwaite tweeted.
New Orleans Pelicans Head Coach Stan Van Gundy tweeted, “Just a question for the tennis authorities – is it better for your sport to have Naomi Osaka playing and not speaking to the media or not playing at all?”
Two-time Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka said, “The challenge today is to convince people of the value of truth, honesty, compassion and a concern for others.”
23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams said, “The only thing I feel is that I feel for Naomi. I feel like I wish I could give her a hug because I know what it’s like.”
“I am so sad about Naomi Osaka. I truly hope she will be ok. As athletes we are taught to take care of our body, and perhaps the mental & emotional aspect gets short shrift. This is about more than doing or not doing a press conference. Good luck Naomi- we are all pulling for you!” 18-time Grand Slam champion Martina Navratilova tweeted.
“Mental Health is nothing to criticize. Nothing to joke about. Pls take your mental health seriously. Without my support system, I truly believe I would not be here today. Here for you @naomiosaka.” Former top-10 ATP player Mardy Fish tweeted.
Australian Open champion Osaka made her French Open debut in a spectacular manner. She defeated Patricia Maria Tig 6-4, 7-6 (4) in her first round. In the second round, she was slated to face Ana Bogdan of Romania. Osaka has won 15 consecutive Grand Slam matches so far.