The world number two caused a storm on the eve of the tournament when revealing she would not attend any press conferences at Roland Garros on account of mental health concerns.
As a result, following her win over Patricia Tig in the first round on Sunday (May. 31, 2021), Osaka was true to her word as she failed to attend the post-match press conference.
In what is a huge shock, she has now announced that she has withdrawn from the tournament ahead of her second-round match.
The Japanese star released the statement in the form of a social media post in which she explained the reasons for her withdrawal – and for her decision to avoid press conferences in the first place.
“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,” Osaka said.
“I never wanted to be a distraction and I accept that my timing was not ideal and my message could have been clearer. More importantly I would never trivialise mental health or use the term lightly.
“The truth is that I have suffered long bouts of depression since the US Open in 2018 and I have had a really hard time coping with that.”
The reaction has been swift with the tennis community rallying around Osaka in the wake of her decision.
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