Naomi Osaka is thankful for her supporters.
“Just want to say thank you for all the love. Haven’t been on my phone much but I wanted to hop on here and tell you all that I really appreciate it,” she wrote in a simple message typed in white lettering on a black background on her Instagram Story.
Osaka announced her decision to withdraw from the tournament on Monday after she was fined for refusing to attend a press conference. Osaka had made it clear before that she’s dealt with depression and social anxiety and that participating in press conferences exacerbates these issues for her.This content is imported from Instagram. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.
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In a statement shared on social media Monday, Osaka explained her decision to pull out of the tournament, writing:
“Hey everyone, 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 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. 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. Though the tennis press has always been kind to me (and I wanna apologize especially to all the cool journalists who I may have hurt), I am not a natural public speaker and get huge waves of anxiety before I speak to the world’s media. I get really nervous and find it stressful to always try to engage and give you the best answers I can.”
This article originally appeared in Harper’s BAZAAR US.