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Naomi Osaka announces she is withdrawing from French Open

Naomi Osaka announces she is withdrawing from French Open”

The Grand Slam leaders said they had written jointly to Osaka to remind her of her obligations and of the consequences she faced for not complying with the rules.

But this is the first instance of a top player making it clear in advance that she did not intend to speak with the news media during a Grand Slam tournament. "We wish her the best and the quickest possible recovery, and we look forward to having Naomi at our Tournament next year", Gilles Moretton, the French Tennis Federation president, said in a press conference without taking questions.

It added that the rules exist "to ensure all players are treated exactly the same".

Osaka, a four-time major champion and the No. 2 seed in this clay-court Grand Slam, announced Wednesday that she would not be participating in any news conferences during the tournament, citing her mental health as the motivation for the decision. "Now it's up to them to decide what's going to be", said former two-time Wimbledon victor Petra Kvitova after her opening win.

Osaka shocked the tennis world last week when she announced she wouldn't be doing any media at Roland Garros. "More importantly I would never trivialize mental health or use the term lightly", she said. The maximum fine, of course, is not a big deal to Osaka, the world's highest-earning female athlete thanks to endorsement contracts totalling tens of millions of dollars.

No leading player has yet expressed publicly a desire to follow Osaka's lead by skipping news conferences.

The grand slams reacted strongly to Osaka's move, releasing a joint statement on Sunday that threatened her with potential disqualification and a ban from future tournaments should she not reconsider.

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German 26th seed Angelique Kerber, a three-time major victor, was the day's biggest loser in the women's draw, going down to 6-2, 6-4 Ukrainian qualifier Anhelina Kalinina.

And that was that from a player who has now strung together 15 successive Grand Slam match wins. "The facilitation of media to a broad array of channels, both traditional and digital, is a major contributor to the development and growth of our sport and the fan base of individual players". She answered three questions from the on-court interviewer, Fabrice Santoro, after the match and a few more queries on her way off the court from Wowow, the Japanese broadcaster with whom she is under contract.

Asked about Osaka's stance, Barty said she's never had any issues fronting the media after wins or losses.

"I respect her, of couse, as an athlete and her personally".

Osaka is in her prime as a player and quickly becoming the face of women's tennis, with her huge skill set on the court and the 39-year-old Serena Williams in the twilight of her career.

With Osaka's withdrawal, her second-round opponent, Ana Bogdan, advances to the third round.

"It's much, much different when you suddenly get a success".



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