Tennis superstar Naomi Osaka has withdrawn the French Tennis Open citing stress having to address the world's media. Japan's world number two Osaka, 23, announced she did not want to do interviews her matches to "protect her mental health". The Women's Tennis Association said this was breach her obligations as a professional player. It initially threatened to expel her the tournament if she did not talk the media. It has since backtracked and said it wants to "create meaningful improvements" supporting players mental health problems. It added: "We commend Naomi for sharing her own words the pressures and anxieties she is feeling."
Naomi Osaka is a four-time Grand Slam singles champion and is the reigning champion the US Open and the Australian Open. She has had problems coping the stress of being in the spotlight as one tennis' biggest stars. She said: "The truth is that I have suffered long bouts of depression the US Open 2018." Organisers of the four Opens have faced criticism the way they have handled Ms Osaka's mental health concerns. However, it recently stated: "We empathise the unique pressures tennis players may face." Many top players have said they are fully behind Ms Osaka. Serena Williams offered her support, saying: "I feel Naomi....I wish I could give her a hug."