The president of the French tennis federation said Naomi Osaka’s withdrawal from the French Open is “unfortunate” and wished her the “quickest possible recovery.”
The four-time Slam champion pulled out of French Open on Monday, saying that she would be taking a break from competition. She said she has “suffered long bouts of depression.”
Naomi had previously declared she would not speak to the media during Roland Garros and was fined $15,000 after she skipped the post-match news conference following her first-round victory Sunday.
Gilles Moretton, French Tennis Federation president, said in a statement the FFT was “sorry and sad for Naomi Osaka.”
“The outcome of Naomi withdrawing from Roland-Garros is unfortunate. We wish her the best and quickest possible recovery, and we look forward to having Naomi at our Tournament next year,”
Moretton’s statement read. “As all the Grand Slams, the WTA, the ATP and the ITF, we remain very committed to all athletes’ wellbeing and to continually improving every aspect of players’ experience in our Tournament, including with the Media, like we have always strived to do.”
WHAT HAPPENED EARLIER?
After her victory over Romania’s Patricia Maria Tig in straight sets on Sunday, the 23-year-old Osaka did not speak to the media, an action she was fined for $15,000, Roland Garros announced in a statement.
Roland Garros then said it asked Osaka “to reconsider her position and tried unsuccessfully to speak with her to check on her well-being, understand the specifics of her issue and what might be done to address it on site.”
“Following the lack of engagement by Naomi Osaka, the Australian Open, Roland-Garros, Wimbledon and the US Open jointly wrote to her to check on her well-being and offer support, underline their commitment to all athletes’ well-being and suggest dialog on the issue,” the statement read.
“She was also reminded of her obligations, the consequences of not meeting them and that rules should equally apply to all players.”
Organizers said that repeated violations could lead to tougher sanctions including default from the tournament.
The French Open was also criticized for posting a tweet with photos of Rafael Nadal, Kei Nishikori, Aryna Sabalenka and Coco Gauff engaging in media duties with the caption: “They understood the assignment.”
Four-time grand slam doubles winner Rennae Stubbs tweeted: “This is some serious shade from Roland Garros & the FFT (French Tennis Federation).
“I understand your attempt at making a point but this isn’t a good look. I mean these particular players are a great look for tennis but making a player feel guilty & humiliating her is NOT a good look for a tennis fed.”