The Debate – Too much pressure? Naomi Osaka quits French Open over media boycott

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What are the terms and conditions of success? World number two Naomi Osaka shocked the tennis world when she announced late on Monday that she preferred to quit the French Open before her second-round match rather than face another confrontation over her refusal to attend the post-match press conference.

In a long statement on her social media accounts, the 23-year-old Japanese player told the world about her bouts with anxiety and depression since her first Grand Slam win in 2018. There has always been pressure in the high-stakes world of professional sport: pressure from fans, sponsors, coaches and parents. 

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Is this generation any different? Is the pressure greater? Or in an age when social media allows athletes to curate their own image, is it a new kind of battle for control between stars, the industry and the media?

Produced by Alessandro Xenos, Juliette Laurain and Imen Mellaz.

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