Naomi Osaka announced she is withdrawing from the French Open, after refusing to attend the media conference at the grand slam, following her match on Sunday, defeating Romanian player Patrica Maria Tig.
The tennis star was fined $15,000 and was warned she could face expulsion from the tournament if she refused to speak to the media.
Naomi released a statement on her personal Twitter account, revealing she would take some time away from the court, so that “everyone can get back to focusing on the tennis going on in Paris.”
She also confessed that she has been suffering from depression after winning her first Grand Slam title in 2018.
The 23-year-old athlete admitted that she never imagined or intended to withdraw, however she thinks this is the best thing for the tournament, the other players and her well-being.
Although Naomi was heavily criticized for her decision, friends and fellow athletes, including Martina Navratilova and Serena Williams, offered their support.
Serena also talked about her experience, admitting that media scrutiny made her stronger, however “not everyone is the same. I’m thick. Other people are thin. Everyone is different and everyone handles things differently.”
She also said Naomi should “handle it the way she wants to and the best way she thinks she can, adding “I feel like I wish I could give her a hug, because I know what it’s like. Like I said, I’ve been in those positions.”