Why did Naomi Osaka withdraw from French Open? Tennis star explains sudden choice to step away

Naomi Osaka’s 2021 French Open has come to an finish.

The 23-year-old tennis star and four-time Grand Slam champion confirmed that she would withdraw from the match at Roland Garros forward of her second-round matchup in opposition to Ana Bogdan.

In a Twitter publish, Osaka detailed her choice to make such a transfer after refusing to speak to the media and revealed that she has “suffered lengthy bouts of melancholy” because the 2018 U.S. Open.

MORE: Full 2021 French Open TV schedule, draw, extra

A pair elements of Osaka’s assertion stand out above all. The primary is when she defined her personal psychological well being points and why talking to the media brings on “large waves of tension.”

The reality is that I’ve suffered lengthy bouts of melancholy because the US Open in 2018 and I’ve had a extremely laborious time dealing with that. 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 all the time been sorts to me (and I wanna apologize particularly to all of the cool journalists who I could have damage), I’m not a pure public speaker and get large waves of tension earlier than I converse to the world’s media. I get actually nervous and discover it annoying to all the time attempt to have interaction and provide the finest solutions I can. 

Osaka additionally outlined precisely why she instigated what successfully amounted to her media blackout. She was making an attempt to “train self-care” and make clear guidelines that she believes are “fairly outdated in elements.”

So right here in Paris I used to be already feeling weak and anxious, so I believed it was higher to train self-care and skip the press conferences. I introduced it preemptively as a result of I do really feel like the foundations are fairly outdated in elements and I needed to focus on that. I wrote privately to the match apologizing and saying that I’d be very happy to talk with them after the match because the Slams are intense. I am gonna take a while away from the court docket now, however when the time is true I actually need to work with the Tour to debate methods we are able to make issues higher for the gamers, press and followers. 

In fact, Osaka and the Tour had been at odds about her media blackout. The 4 Grand Slam tournaments launched a joint assertion and fined her $15,000 for skipping media obligations after Spherical 1 of the French Open and threatened a default if she continued to take action.

Osaka lamented that her “message might have been clearer” in her assertion, so it could appear that the 2 sides have rather a lot to speak about transferring ahead if Osaka does need a number of the “outdated” media guidelines to vary.

However, for now, the No. 2 participant on the earth will sit out the largest clay-court occasion of the 12 months. Earlier than withdrawing, Osaka beat Patricia Maria Tig in two units, (6-4, 7-6).

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