French tennis federation president Gilles Moretton confirmed Monday he “was sorry and sad” that Naomi Osaka had decided to withdraw from Roland Garros.
“First and foremost, we are sorry and sad for Naomi Osaka. The outcome of Naomi withdrawing from Roland-Garros is unfortunate. We wish her the best and the quickest possible recovery, and we look forward to having Naomi at our Tournament next year.
“As all the Grand Slams, the WTA, the ATP and the ITF, we remain very committed to all athletes’ well-being and to continually improving every aspect of players’ experience in our Tournament, including with the Media, as we have always strived to do.”
Osaka had revealed that she has been suffering long periods of depression and said she was going to take a break from the sport.
“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,” said the 23-year-old Japanese star, a four-time Grand Slam title winner.
Osaka declared on the night of Roland Garros that such post-match inquests were akin to “kicking people when they are down” and that they had a detrimental effect on her mental health.
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) May 31, 2021
“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 I have suffered bouts of depression since the US Open in 2018 and I have had a really hard time coping with that.
“In Paris, I was already feeling vulnerable and anxious so I thought it was better to exercise self-care and skip the press conferences.”