Prior to the French Open, Naomi Osaka announced she would not be speaking with the media. The young tennis star stated she wanted to focus on her mental health and felt meeting with the media would further damage her mental health.
Due to Osaka skipping her mandatory media obligations, she was fined $15,000. The fine came after she won the first round of the French Open. Furthermore, the decision came from all four Grand slams which also include Wimbledon, the US Open, and the Australian Open.
“As might be expected, repeat violations attract tougher sanctions including default from the tournament (Code of Conduct article III T.) and the trigger of a major offence investigation that could lead to more substantial fines and future Grand Slam suspensions (Code of Conduct article IV A.3.),” the statement stated.
Instead of facing further consequences, Osaka announced she would be withdrawing from the tournament instead.
“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,” Osaka wrote. “I never wanted to be a distraction and I accept that my timing was not ideal and message could have been clearer.”
Her full statement also addressed her battle with depression and anxiety.
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) May 31, 2021
“First and foremost we are sorry and sad for Naomi Osaka,” said Gilles Moretton, the president of the French Tennis Federation on Osaka’s decision. “The outcome of Naomi withdrawing from Roland Garros is unfortunate. We wish her the best and the quickest possible recovery and we look forward to having Naomi in our tournament next year. As all the Grand Slams, the WTA, the ATP and the ITF, we remain very committed to all athletes well-being and to continually improving all aspects of players experience in our tournaments including with the media like we have always tried to do.”
Managing Editor of The Ball Out.