JUST IN: Naomi Osaka Withdraws From French Open, Citing Mental Health Concerns

Japan's Naomi Osaka in action during her first round match against Romania's Patricia Maria

Japan's Naomi Osaka in action during her first round match against Romania's Patricia Maria

"Naomi Osaka today chose not to honour her contractual media obligations".

After a "lack of engagement" from Osaka, the Grand Slam organisers wrote to her to offer support, as well as to "remind her of her obligations".

In addition to Sunday's fine during Day 1 of the French Open, she drew a surprising warning from all four Grand Slam tournaments that she could face stiffer penalties, including disqualification or even suspension, if she continues to avoid the media. "We wish her the best and the quickest possible recovery, and we look forward to having Naomi at our Tournament next year", Gilles Moretton, the French Tennis Federation president, said in a press conference without taking questions.

"We want to underline that rules are in place to ensure all players are treated exactly the same, no matter their stature, beliefs or achievement", the statement said.

The organizers' statement said that following Osaka's announcement, the French Open teams asked her to reconsider her position and were unsuccessful in their attempts to check on her well-being. "Now it's up to them to decide what's going to be", said former two-time Wimbledon victor Petra Kvitova after her opening win. Before the tournament, Osaka announced she would not be doing press conferences due to her mental health wellbeing. "More importantly, I would never trivialise mental health or use the term lightly". "In order to continue to improve, however, we need engagement from the players to understand their perspective and find ways to improve their experiences". "For me, I feel like every opportunity I have to play a Slam is an opportunity to win a Slam".

German 26th seed Angelique Kerber, a three-time major victor, was the day's biggest loser in the women's draw, going down to 6-2, 6-4 Ukrainian qualifier Anhelina Kalinina. "These interactions allow both the players and the media to share their perspective and for the players to tell their story".

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Regarding her movement on clay, Osaka, who next meets another Romanian in Ana Bogdan, said: "I would say it's a work in progress".

After beating Serena Williams to claim her first major at the 2018 U.S. Open, Osaka was booed by the crowd during the presentation ceremony as her victory was overshadowed by the American's outburst following a row with the umpire.

But she declined all other television requests and skipped the news conference.

Osaka, 23, also revealed that she has experienced depression and anxiety since winning her first major at the 2018 US Open and explained that speaking to the media often makes her nervous. As the highest-paid female athlete, she can afford the $15,000 fine and other fines that might come her way. She has struggled on clay and never advanced past the third round in Paris, but the tournament remains one of the pillars of the sport.

The world number two announced the move on social media, citing mental health issues.

"It's not something that's ever phased me too much".

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