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Naomi Osaka withdraws from French Open

Naomi Osaka has won both of her Grand Slam matches against Serena Williams

World number two Naomi Osaka says she is withdrawing from the French Open as a result of controversy over her refusal to speak to the media during the tournament.

On Sunday a joint statement from Grand Slam organisers said Osaka could face expulsion from the tournament.

The 23-year-old said last week she would not do news conferences at Roland Garros to protect her mental health.

She said on Monday she “never wanted to be a distraction” to the event.

In a tweet, Osaka revealed she had “suffered long bouts of depression” since winning her first Grand Slam title in 2018.

The Japanese four-time major winner added that she gets “huge waves of anxiety” before speaking to the world’s media.

Osaka said she was going to “take some time away from the court now”, adding: “When the time is right I really want to work with the Tour to discuss ways we can make things better for the players, press and fans”.

When Osaka announced her decision to avoid the press on Wednesday, she said expecting players to answer questions after a defeat amounted to “kicking a person while they’re down”.

The French Open second seed won her opening match against Romania’s Patricia Maria Tig in straight sets and was fined $15,000 (£10,570) for not doing post-match media.

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