World No. 2 Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from Wimbledon as she wants to spend more time with her family and friends. Osaka last played at the French Open, where she made the second round before abruptly pulling out of the event.
In Paris, Osaka revealed she has been battling anxiety and depression since the 2018 US Open. "Naomi won't be playing Wimbledon this year," the statement read. "She is taking some personal time with friends and family.
She will be ready for the Olympics and is excited to play in front of her home fans." Osaka refused to do press conferences in Paris and eventually pulled out of the event because she didn't want to be a distraction.
“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 in Paris. "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."
Gael Monfils showed support for Osaka
"It's a tough situation for Osaka. I feel for her. I was struggling myself also. It's very tough. She's a real champion so champions are sometimes dealing with things bigger than us, the good players.
She's young. She can't maybe manage all the pressure," Monfils said. "Naomi is still a human being. What's happening is very sad. It's tough to say if she was right or wrong. She was in-between. I'm just waiting.
I'm curious about what they're gonna change. I wish her quick recovery. We need her to be 100% and back happy." Meanwhile, French Open boss Guy Forget said they were caught off guard by the Osaka comments. "Naomi Osaka, it's a sensible subject.
We were surprised by her first message on the social networks, because us, ans the WTA, we are concerned by mental health. Being there in a privilege. We want everyone to be happy in Roland-Garros," Forget said, per Tennis Majors.
"Even her agent didn't really know how she felt inside. It was very hard in terms of not knowing how to deal with the situation. The fines are symbolic. On top of that, how she felt, we didn't know. "We were relieved when she did she felt better and she said she regretted the way it first happened."