Naomi Osaka Quits French Open: Why That’s a Win for Mental Health

Professional tennis player Naomi Osaka stunned the sports world last week when she withdrew from the French Open after skipping press events required to prioritize her mental health. A day before her withdrawal, Osaka, whose Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) ranks as the second-best female tennis player in the world, was issued a yellow card and a fine for skipping the show after the match, according to a statement released by organizers. On May 30th.

“I now believe the best thing for the tournament, the other players and my safety is that I retire,” Osaka said in a statement posted on Instagram. “I’ve had long bouts of depression since the US Open in 2018, and I’ve had a really hard time dealing with that….Here in Paris I was already feeling weak and anxious, so I thought it was best to practice self-care and skip the press conferences.”

After Osaka’s withdrawal, the president of the French Tennis Federation, Gilles Moreton, apologized in a statement, and said the organizers of the tennis tournament were committed to supporting the welfare of the athletes.

Osaka has also pulled out of the WTA tournament that will be held in Berlin next week, ESPN reported yesterday.

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