French Open chiefs Guy Forget has underlined that they care about the mental health of players and that they were caught off guard by the Naomi Osaka comments. Before the French Open, world No. 2 Osaka said she would not be doing press conferences at Roland Garros.
After her opening round win at the French Open, Osaka did an on-court interview but refused to do a press conference. After being fined $15,000 for skipping mandatory press conference, Osaka announced her withdrawal from the French Open.
"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."
Osaka didn't want to be a distraction
Osaka revealed she has been battling depression for years and social anxiety and she didn't want to be a distraction at the French Open. “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."