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Naomi Osaka withdraws from French Open after fine for refusing press availability

The No. 2 player in the world said she does not want to be a distraction after deciding to not take part in traditional media availability.

Naomi Osaka of Japan celebrates her victory against Patricia Maria Tig of Romania in the first round of the Women’s Singles competition on Court Philippe-Chatrier at the 2021 French Open Tennis Tournament at Roland Garros on May 30th 2021 in Paris, France. Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images

Naomi Osaka, the No. 2 tennis player in the world, announced on Monday that she is withdrawing from the 2021 French Open. She was the No. 2 seed in the tournament and had odds of +1200 to win at DraftKings Sportsbook.

The decision came after Osaka was fined $15,000 when she chose not to appear for a media day news conference and skipped a news conference after her first-round win. The Grand Slam tournaments issued a joint statement threatening her with harsher penalties including being defaulted from the tournament.

Osaka has spoken out about mental health issues and what comes in dealing with the international press. She hopes to work with the Tour to develop a better approach, rather than the adversarial relationship that currently exists.

She stated that she is “gonna take some time away from the court now,” but did not specify how long. Wimbledon is scheduled to start on June 28th and she would be one of the top two seeds in the tournament.