Naomi Osaka Reveals She Is Suffering from Depression Amid Decision Not to Entertain French Open Press

Mental health tends to be a controversial topic in any setting, so when Noami Osaka cited it as her reason for missing a press conference, she received mixed responses. 

Champion tennis player Naomi Osaka took to Instagram to publicly share her reasons for choosing not to attend the French Open Press. Depression, she explained, was the root of this decision. 

Mixed responses surrounded this announcement of Osaka's absence. Many were supportive, but the feminist icon butt heads with the board of Grand Slam tennis tournaments.

Naomi Osaka of Japan takes part in a lap of honor with Daphne Akhurst at the 2019 Australian Open on January 26, 2019 in Melbourne. | Photo: Getty Images

Naomi Osaka of Japan takes part in a lap of honor with Daphne Akhurst at the 2019 Australian Open on January 26, 2019 in Melbourne. | Photo: Getty Images

MENTAL HEALTH COMES FIRST

Osaka expressed that since the decision to sit out the press conference, she thinks it would be best for all parties if she were to sit out the French Open as a whole. She explained

"The truth is that I have suffered long bouts of depression since the US Open in 2018 and I have a really hard time coping with that."

She expanded on why she wears headphones during matches, stating that it helps decrease her social anxiety. The Grand Slam champion claimed press conferences was a huge challenge for her due to anxiety.

 A NEW AGE IN TENNIS

Emphasizing how much she had thought about the issue, Osaka affirmed that she doesn't speak of mental health lightly. She admitted that the situation was and had not been ideal. 

Tennis icons Venus and Serena Williams also stood by Osaka's side.

She unabashedly shared her opinion on the current rules around tournaments and press conferences. The rules are outmoded, she said, claiming that she has plans to open important dialogues about this. 

THE BOARD RESPONDS 

Osaka was fined $15,000 by the board of Grand Slam tennis tournaments in response to not attending the press conference. She also received warnings of possible expulsion. A statement read:

"Naomi Osaka today chose not to honor her contractual media obligations. The Roland-Garros referee has therefore issued her a $15,000 fine."

The board did express their alleged allyship towards mental health. However, they claimed that a player choosing not to attend press conferences provides them with an unfair advantage over their opponents. 

SUPPORTIVE FANS 

Many fans took to Twitter to defend and validate their beloved tennis player. There were accusations of systemic racism, insensitivity, and sexism towards the authorities' punitive response. 

Tennis icons Venus and Serena Williams also stood by Osaka's side. Venus expressed pride for her while Serena wished she could hug her.

Venus Williams commenting on an Instagram post by Naomi Osaka. | Source: Instagram/naomiosaka

Venus Williams commenting on an Instagram post by Naomi Osaka. | Source: Instagram/naomiosaka

Serena and Osaka are two trailblazers in women's sports, the Japanese player giving the legendary icon a run for her money. Earlier this year, she beat Serena at the Australian Open Semifinals. 

This is not the first time Osaka has slammed Serena. However, when it comes to their relationship off the court, Serena showed her fellow woman the support she needed, embracing her from afar.

Related posts
Naomi Osaka Reacts to Winning Australian Open — See Her New Posts as She Shows off the Trophy
Getty Images
Sports Feb 22, 2021
Naomi Osaka Reacts to Winning Australian Open — See Her New Posts as She Shows off the Trophy
Serena Williams Speaks Out after Losing to Naomi Osaka at the Australian Open Semifinals
Instagram/serenawilliams
Sports Feb 18, 2021
Serena Williams Speaks Out after Losing to Naomi Osaka at the Australian Open Semifinals
Naomi Osaka & Serena Williams Set to Face off in 2021 during the Australian Open Semifinals
Getty Images
Sports Feb 17, 2021
Naomi Osaka & Serena Williams Set to Face off in 2021 during the Australian Open Semifinals
Naomi Osaka Stuns as She Debuts Fiery Red Hair Ahead of the Australian Open — See Her New Look
Instagram/naomiosaka
Sports Feb 02, 2021
Naomi Osaka Stuns as She Debuts Fiery Red Hair Ahead of the Australian Open — See Her New Look