Naomi Osaka’s French Open withdrawal: Who’s saying what


Naomi Osaka stunned tennis on Monday when she withdrew from the French Open after refusing to hold press conferences during the tournament.

Here, AFP Sport looks at some of the reaction to the announcement, in which Osaka said she has suffered from “bouts of depression” for nearly three years:

“The truth is I have suffered bouts of depression since the US Open in 2018 and I have had a really hard time coping with that.”

— Osaka says she has struggled since her maiden Grand Slam win.

“In Paris, I was already feeling vulnerable and anxious so I thought it was better to exercise self-care and skip the press conferences.”

— The world number two explained why she wanted to avoid the usual media obligations.

“I am so sad about Naomi Osaka. I truly hope she will be ok. As athletes we are taught to take care of our body, and perhaps the mental & emotional aspect gets short shrift. This is about more than doing or not doing a press conference. Good luck Naomi- we are all pulling for you!”

— Eighteen-time Grand Slam singles winner Martina Navratilova responds to the news.

“We are sorry and sad for Naomi Osaka that she has withdrawn from the tournament.”

— French tennis federation president Gille Moretton.

“Stay strong (love heart emoji). I admire your vulnerability.”

— Teenage American player Coco Gauff.

“I respect her decision. I respect what she does. I can’t really comment on that. I feel like everyone’s dealing with their own stuff.”

— American fourth seed Sofia Kenin.

“Everyone talks about mental health after someone commits suicide but ridicules everyone who tries to protect their mental health. You are strong for standing up and speaking out and even giving up the game you love to protect your mental health. I salute you young queen.”

— West Indies cricket international Carlos Brathwaite.

“Just a question for the tennis authorities – is it better for your sport to have Naomi Osaka playing and not speaking to the media or not playing at all?”

— Stan Van Gundy, head coach of NBA team the New Orleans Pelicans.

Source: News24



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