Picture Supply: Getty / Tim Clayton / Corbis
Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from the 2021 French Open sooner or later after being fined $15,000 for skipping a mandatory press conference following her first-round win towards Romania’s Patricia Maria Tig on Might 30 (although she nonetheless participated in an on-court interview post-match). Osaka had introduced final week that she can be forgoing press on the French Open this 12 months as a consequence of what she feels is a blatant disregard for athletes’ mental health. Professional gamers throughout the game voiced their opinions; 20-time Grand Slam males’s singles winner Rafael Nadal, as an example, stated speaking to media was part of the job, as did 18-time Grand Slam ladies’s singles champion Chris Evert, who said that it helps grow the sport.
The leaders of the 4 Grand Slam tennis tournaments stated in a joint assertion on Might 30 they initially wrote to Osaka after she introduced her resolution with a view to “check on her well-being and offer support.” They then warned that if she have been to proceed opting out of French Open media obligations, she may face additional penalties together with disqualification from the match and extra potential fines or future Grand Slam suspensions.
On Might 31, the two-time Australian Open and US Open singles winner introduced her withdrawal from the French Open through social media, writing: “I believe now the most effective factor for the match, the opposite gamers and my well-being is that I withdraw so that everybody can get again to specializing in the tennis happening in Paris.” She continued, “I by no means needed to be a distraction and I settle for that my timing was not very best and my message may have been clearer.”
Osaka, 23, additionally revealed in her assertion that she has been combating “lengthy bouts of despair” because the 2018 US Open, the place she came out victorious against Serena Williams; her victory, nevertheless, was arguably overshadowed by penalties issued towards Williams that she outwardly deemed sexist. Osaka wrote of her despair: “I’ve had a extremely onerous time dealing with that.”
Osaka continued: “Anybody that is aware of me is aware of I am introverted, and anybody that has seen me on the tournaments will discover that I am typically carrying headphones as that helps boring my social anxiousness. Although the tennis press has at all times been sort to me (and I wanna apologize particularly to all of the cool journalists who I’ll have harm), I’m not a pure public speaker and get big waves of hysteria earlier than I communicate to the world’s media.”
Venus Williams commented on Osaka’s Instagram put up, “So pleased with you. Maintain your self and see you again successful quickly!” Fellow tennis professional Sloane Stephens wrote, “We’re behind you babygirl, take the time you want!” and Coco Gauff wrote, “keep sturdy.” Cordae, Osaka’s boyfriend, commented, “No have to apologize to ANYBODY!”
Osaka stated she plans to go on a tennis break, particularly writing: “I am gonna take a while away from the court docket now.” Although she didn’t additional elaborate, she famous: “when the time is true I actually need to work with the Tour to debate methods we will make issues higher for the gamers, press and followers,” citing “outdated” guidelines. Within the joint Grand Slam assertion launched on Might 30, the tennis majors additionally indicated that they’re dedicated to discussing methods “to enhance each facet of the participant expertise, together with with the media.” Learn Osaka’s full announcement within the Instagram beneath.