World No. 2 tennis star, Naomi Osaka, withdrew from the French Open on Monday, citing “long bouts of depression” as her reason for taking a step back from the game.
Osaka previously declined to speak with reporters before the tournament, garnering a $15,000 fine as a result and facing backlash online. Osaka put out a statement on her decision to withdraw:
I think now 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. I never wanted to be a distraction and I accept that my timing was not ideal and my message could have been clearer,” she continued. “More importantly, I would never trivialize mental health or use the term lightly. The truth is that I have suffered long bouts of depression since the U.S. Open in 2018 and I have had a really hard time coping with that.