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Naomi Osaka vs. the French Open

Tennis star Naomi Osaka said last week she wouldn’t go to postmatch news conferences over mental health concerns and this week dropped out of the French Open altogether. Caitlin Thompson of Racquet Magazine walks us through how this led to controversy in the tennis world and highlights broader problems surrounding the media culture in the sport.
Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka received support from her country, sponsors and leading sporting figures after pulling out of the French Open on Monday, citing mental health struggles. (Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Naomi Osaka is the world's No. 2-ranked tennis player and a four-time world champion, but this week she announced she was withdrawing from the French Open. It came after she was fined $15,000 US for skipping the postmatch news conference after her first-round victory, saying she wouldn't participate due to mental health reasons. This week she released a statement revealing she had "suffered long bouts of depression since the U.S. Open in 2018." 

While many have supported her decision, others say attending news conferences comes with the game. Caitlin Thompson of Racquet Magazine explains how this controversy paints a bigger picture about the tennis world and the media culture that surrounds it. 

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