Naomi Osaka played one match at the French Open before deciding she had enough.
“This isn’t a situation I ever imagined or intended when I posted a few days ago. 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.
“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 trivialize mental health or use the term lightly,” the world’s No. 2-ranked women’s tennis player wrote.
She also said she has been dealing with depression since the 2018 U.S. Open and will, “take some time away from the court now.”
“Anyone that knows me knows I’m introverted, and anyone that has seen me at the tournaments will notice that I’m often wearing headphones as that helps dull my social anxiety,” she wrote.
The announcement comes one day after Osaka defeated Patricia Maria Țig in straight sets in the first round of the tournament.
Osaka’s announcement comes in light of her decision last that she would not speak to the press during the French Open to protect her mental health.
“We’re often sat there and asked questions that we’ve been asked multiple times before or asked questions that bring doubt into our minds and I’m just not going to subject myself to people that doubt me,” Osaka said last week.
“First and foremost we are sorry and sad for Naomi Osaka. The outcome of Naomi withdrawing from Roland Garros is unfortunate,” French tennis federation president Gilles Moretton said Monday. “We wish her the best and the quickest possible recovery. And we look forward to having Naomi in our tournament next year.”
Moretton said the four major tournaments, and the professional tennis tours, “remain very committed to all athletes’ well-being and to continually improving every aspect of players’ experience in our tournament, including with the media, like we always have.”
In her post Monday afternoon, Osaka said that most people in tennis media have often been kind to her.
Retired tennis star Martina Navratilova tweeted that she hopes Osaka will be OK.
“As athletes we are taught to take care of our body, and perhaps the mental & emotional aspect gets short shrift. This is about more than doing or not doing a press conference. Good luck Naomi- we are all pulling for you!
Navratilova added: “And kudos to Naomi Osaka for caring so much about the other players. While she tried to make a situation better for herself and others, she inadvertently made it worse. Hope this solution, pulling out, as brutal as it is will allow her to start healing and take care of her SELF.”
Tweeted former tennis star Billie Jean King: “It’s incredibly brave that Naomi Osaka has revealed her truth about her struggle with depression. Right now, the important thing is that we give her the space and time she needs. We wish her well.”
After Osaka’s initial decision, the official Twitter account of Roland Garros — where the tournament is being held — posted a photo of other athletes participating in their media responsibilities on Saturday with the caption, “They understood the assignment.”
After not speaking with the media following her first-round win, Osaka was fined $15,000 by the French Open, with officials saying she was, “exposing herself to possible further Code of Conduct infringement consequences.”
Follow Jordan Mendoza on Twitter: @jord_mendoza. Contributing: Associated Press