Naomi Osaka said she was withdrawing from Roland Garros on Monday, a day after tennis officials fined the star player $ 15,000 after she said she would not be doing media interviews for tournament. Osaka had said she made her mental health a top priority.
In a statement released on Monday, Osaka also said she “has suffered long periods of depression” since being catapulted into the national spotlight after a controversial victory over Serena Williams at the 2018 US Open.
“The best thing for the tournament, the other players and my well-being is that I am stepping back so everyone can focus again on the tennis that is happening in Paris,” she said. in a press release. “I never wanted to be a distraction and accept that my timing was not ideal and that my message could have been clearer.”
“I would never trivialize mental health or use the term lightly,” she added. “The truth is, I have suffered from long periods of depression since the US Open in 2018 and have had a hard time dealing with it.”
“Everyone who knows me, I’m an introvert,” she said, “and anyone who’s seen me at tournaments will notice that I often wear headphones because it helps alleviate my social anxiety.”
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