By Chris King • 31 May 2021 • 20:56
NAOMI OSAKA Pulls Out Of The Roland Garros French Open Tennis After Being Fined £12.9k
Naomi Osaka, the four-time Grand Slam tennis singles champion has sensationally withdrawn from the French Open at Roland Garros, posting a long explanation about her controversial actions on social media.
The tennis star had already courted controversy last week by announcing that she would not be making any press conferences at the French Open, and had sailed comfortably through her first-round match against the Romanian player Patricia Maria Tig.
Sure enough, after the match, Osaka kept her word by boycotting the press conference, leading to Roland Garros officials fining her £12,900 (€14.900), while also threatening to kick her out of the tournament if she continued to refuse to attend the obligatory post-match press conferences.
Just prior to her withdrawal, French officials had removed a tweet on their account that praised other top stars for attending press conferences, showing photos of Rafa Nadal, Kei Nishikori, Aryna Sabalenka and Coco Gauff all speaking with the media, and captioned, “They understood the assignment”, and now they face scrutiny after Naomi Osaka pulls out.
Osaka’s huge statement on social media read, “Hey everyone, this isn’t a situation I ever imagined or intended when I posted a few days ago. 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”.
Continuing, “More importantly I would never triviliase mental health or use the term lightly. 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. Anyone that knows me knows I’m introverted, and anyone that has seen me at the tournaments will notice that I’m often wearing headphones as that helps dull my social anxiety”.
“Though the tennis press has always been kind to me (and I wanna apologize especially to all the cool journalists who I may have hurt), I am not a natural public speaker and get huge waves of anxiety before I speak to the world’s media. I get really nervous and find it stressful to always try to engage and give you the best answers I can”, she added.
“So here in Paris I was already feeling vulnerable and anxious so I thought it was better to exercise self-care and skip the press conferences. I announced it preemptively because I do feel like the rules are quite outdated in parts and I wanted to highlight that. I wrote privately to the tournament apologising, and saying that I would be more than happy to speak with them after the tournament as the slams are intense”.
Concluding, “I’m gonna take some time away from the court now, but when the time is right I really want to work with the tour to discuss ways we can make things better for the players, press, and fans”.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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