2021 French Open: Osaka Pulls Out Over Press Conference Controversy

Naomi Osaka has announced her withdrawal from the French Open due to the fallout over her refusal to speak to the media during the tournament.

On Sunday a joint statement from Grand Slam organisers said Osaka could face expulsion from the tournament.

The statement after the world number two was fined $15,000 for skipping the mandatory post-match press conference following her first round victory against Patricia Maria Tig.

The 23-year-old said last week she would not do news conferences at Roland Garros to protect her mental health.

Announcing her intention to pull out of the year’s second Grand Slam on Monday, she said she “never wanted to be a distraction” to the event.

The four time slam winner revealed she had “suffered long bouts of depression” since winning her first Grand Slam title at the US open in 2018.

In a tweet, Osaka explained she gets “huge waves of anxiety” before speaking to the world’s media and sought to mitigate her social anxiety by not facing the press in Paris.

The Japanese athlete said she was going to “take some time away from the court now”, adding: “When the time is right I really want to work with the Tour to discuss ways we can make things better for the players, press and fans”.