Naomi Osaka said she was retiring from the French Open after the bitter consequence of her decision to boycott all media activity.
“Hey everyone, it’s not a situation I ever imagined or thought about when I published a few days ago. I think now the best thing for the tournament, the rest of the players and my well-being is that I retire so that everyone can refocus on the tennis that is done in Paris.
“I never wanted to be a distraction and I accept that my moment was not ideal and my message could have been clearer. More importantly, he would never trivialize 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 it has been very difficult for me to deal with it.
“Anyone who knows me knows that I am an introvert and anyone who has seen me at tournaments will notice that I often wear headphones, as this helps to quench my social anxiety.
“Although the tennis press has always been kind to me (and I want to apologize to all the funny journalists I may have hurt), I am not a natural public speaker and I have huge waves of anxiety before talking to the media of the world.
“I get very nervous and it makes me stressful to always try to get involved and give you the best answers I can.
“So here in Paris I was already feeling vulnerable and anxious, so I thought it best to exercise caution and skip the press conferences. I announced it preemptively because it seems to me that the rules are pretty outdated in parts and I wanted to highlight it.
“I wrote privately at the tournament apologizing and saying I would be more than happy to talk to them after the tournament as the Slams are intense.
“Now I’m going to get a little off the track, but when the time comes I want to work with the Tour to discuss ways to improve things for the players, press and fans.
“Anyway, I hope you’re doing well and rest assured, love each other, I’ll see you when I see you.”
– Naomi Osaka Naomi Osaka (@naomiosaka) May 31, 2021