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Naomi Osaka withdraws from French Tennis Open

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Naomi Osaka - Level 4

Tennis' Naomi Osaka, 23, has withdrawn from the French Tennis Open due to stress. She said she did not want to do post-match interviews to protect her mental health. A tennis authority said she was breaking her obligations. It threatened to expel her from tournaments. It then said it wanted to improve the support it gives to players with mental health problems. It praised Ms Osaka for talking about the pressures and anxieties she felt.

Naomi Osaka has won four Grand Slam titles. She is the reigning US Open champion. She has had problems with being one of tennis' biggest stars. She said: "The truth is that I have suffered long bouts of depression since the US Open in 2018." Tennis authorities were criticised for the way they handled Ms Osaka's concerns. However, they recently said that they empathise with the "unique pressures tennis players may face". Many top players support Ms Osaka.

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Naomi Osaka - Level 5

Tennis' Naomi Osaka, 23, has withdrawn from the French Tennis Open due to stress from having to talk to the media. Japan's world number two said she did not want to do post-match interviews to "protect her mental health". The Women's Tennis Association (WTA) said this was in breach of her obligations. It threatened to expel her from the tournament if she did not talk to the media. It then said it wants to "create meaningful improvements" to support players with mental health problems. It added: "We commend Naomi for sharing in her own words the pressures and anxieties she is feeling."

Naomi Osaka has won four Grand Slam titles. She is the reigning champion at the US Open and Australian Open. She had problems coping with being in the spotlight as one of tennis' biggest stars. She said: "The truth is that I have suffered long bouts of depression since the US Open in 2018." The WTA has faced criticism for the way it handled Ms Osaka's mental health concerns. However, it recently said: "We empathise with the unique pressures tennis players may face." Many top players are behind Ms Osaka. Serena Williams said: "I feel for Naomi....I wish I could give her a hug."

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11 online activities    |    8-page printable   (PDF)

Naomi Osaka - Level 6

Tennis superstar Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from the French Tennis Open citing stress from having to address the world's media. Japan's world number two Osaka, 23, announced she did not want to do interviews after her matches to "protect her mental health". The Women's Tennis Association said this was in breach of her obligations as a professional player. It initially threatened to expel her from the tournament if she did not talk to the media. It has since backtracked and said it wants to "create meaningful improvements" in supporting players with mental health problems. It added: "We commend Naomi for sharing in 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 at the US Open and the Australian Open. She has had problems coping with the stress of being in the spotlight as one of tennis' biggest stars. She said: "The truth is that I have suffered long bouts of depression since the US Open in 2018." Organisers of the four Opens have faced criticism for the way they have handled Ms Osaka's mental health concerns. However, it recently stated: "We empathise with 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 for Naomi....I wish I could give her a hug."

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25 online activities    |    27-page printable    |    2-page mini-lesson



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