Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka won't be kicking off her grass season in Berlin as she has withdrawn from the bett1open. Osaka, ranked at No. 2 in the world, drew lots of attention to her over the last week. Last week, Osaka announced she would not be doing press conferences at the French Open.
After her first round win on Sunday, Osaka did an on court interview but didn't want to do a press conference. Osaka was fined $15,000 and threatened to be defaulted from the tournament. After the fine and threats, Osaka pulled out of the French Open and revealed she has been battling depression and anxiety for a few years now.
Osaka won't be making her Berlin debut in 2021
The Berlin event is scheduled to kick off on June 14, the day after the French Open concludes. “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."
France's Gael Monfils offered support to 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."