x
Breaking News
More () »

Naomi Osaka withdraws from French Open after getting fined $15,000 for avoiding press

The 23-year-old athlete said her withdrawal would be "the best thing for the tournament, the other players and my well-being."

Naomi Osaka is withdrawing from the French Open after being fined $15,000 for not appearing at a press conference during the tournament.

The tennis star made the announcement Monday afternoon on Twitter, saying her withdrawal would be "the best thing for the tournament, the other players and my well-being." 

The no. 2-ranked, four-time Grand Slam winner chose not to participate in post-game press conferences at the tournament, which she is contractually obligated to attend, after announcing on Twitter before the French Open began that she wouldn't do any press.

Osaka originally cited the general "mental health" of athletes for her decision, writing "We're often sat there and asked questions that we've been asked multiple times before or asked questions that bring doubt into our minds and I'm not just going to subject myself to people that doubt me."

However in her updated statement, she cited much more personal mental health struggles.

"The truth is that I have suffered long bouts of depression since the US Open in 2018 and I have had a really hard time coping with that," Osaka wrote.

She added that she "never wanted to be a distraction" and apologized to the tennis press and "all the cool journalists" she may have hurt.

For now, Osaka will be "taking some time away from the court" but is open to discussing with tournament organizers on how to make things better for players going forward, according to her tweet.

In a joint statement issued on Sunday, the four Grand Slam tournaments said that prior to the tournament, they tried unsuccessfully to speak with Osaka "to check on her well-being, understand the specifics of her issue and what might be done to address it on site."

They wrote that they followed through with the fines after trying to check on Osaka's well-being because she "chose not to honor her contractual media obligations."

"The mental health of players competing in our tournaments and on the Tours is of the utmost importance to the Grand Slams," the statement added.

"All Grand Slams remain committed to continually reviewing and discussing opportunities, together with the Tours and the players, to improve every aspect of the player experience, including with the media. But we consider this is only ever achieved through respectful and constructive discussions."

10 Tampa Bay Cares: If you or someone you know is struggling, there is help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached 24/7 at 800-273-8255. Click here for more Florida mental health resources.

What other people are reading right now:

►Breaking news and weather alerts: Get the free 10 Tampa Bay app

Stay In the Know! Sign up now for the Brightside Blend Newsletter