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French Open 2021: Naomi Osaka withdraws after media boycott row; reveals battle with depression since 2018-Sports News , Firstpost - TechiLive.in

French Open 2021: Naomi Osaka withdraws after media boycott row; reveals battle with depression since 2018-Sports News , Firstpost

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23-year-old Naomi Osaka was fined $15,000 on Sunday and threatened with disqualification by French Open organisers after she refused to carry out a mandatory news conference following her first round win.

File image of Naomi Osaka reacting after a point against Maria Sakkari in their quarter-final at the Miami Open in March 2021. Getty Images via AFP

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Paris: Naomi Osaka said Monday she was withdrawing from the French Open following the bitter fall-out from her decision to boycott all media activity at the Grand Slam event.

“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,” the World No 2 wrote on Twitter.

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The 23-year-old Japanese star was fined $15,000 on Sunday and threatened with disqualification after she refused to carry out a mandatory news conference following her first round win.

She claimed on the eve of Roland Garros that such post-match inquests were akin to “kicking people when they are down” and that they had a detrimental effect on her mental health.

“I never wanted to be a distraction and I accept that my timing was not ideal and my message could have been clearer,” the four-time Grand Slam title winner said in her statement.

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“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.”

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

“I announced it preemptively because I do feel like the rules are quite outdated in parts and I wanted to highlight that.”

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