Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from the French Open, saying depression and social anxiety lay behind her press boycott.
Osaka announced before the tournament that she would not be making herself available to the press in a bid to protect her mental health.
She made good on that vow after her first round win, with Roland Garros officials fining her $15,000 and revealing she had rejected their offers to help her.
They also warned that should she perpetuate her stance on the press, she could be defaulted from the tournament.
However, she has now decided the best thing she can do it withdraw from the tournament.
“This isn’t a situation I ever imagined or intended when I posted a few days ago,” Osaka said on Twitter.
“I think now 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.
“I never wanted to be a distraction and I accept that my timing was not ideal and my message could have been clearer.”
“The truth is that I have suffered long bouts of depression since the U.S. Open in 2018 and I have had a really hard time coping with that,” she said.
“Anyone that knows me knows I’m introverted, and anyone that has seen me at the tournaments will notice that I’m often wearing headphones as that helps dull my social anxiety.
“I wrote privately to the tournament apologising and saying that I would be more than happy to speak with them after the tournament as the slams are intense,” Osaka said.
“I’m gonna take some time away from the court now, but 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.”
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