Naomi Osaka Withdraws From French Open For Opponents’ Mental Health

Illustration for article titled Naomi Osaka Withdraws From French Open For Opponents’ Mental Health

PARIS—Saying that her decision was made with the hope of inspiring the next generation of players, Naomi Osaka withdrew from the French Open Monday for opponents’ mental health. “It’s time for me to take a step back from the crushing depression this game inflicts on my opposition,” said Osaka, who hoped to inspire other players to forfeit matches against her moving forward so they could focus on their own self-care. “I know how hard it is to lose as the top-ranked player and I could never inflict that harm on Ashleigh [Barty]. The people who don’t respect my decision clearly have never played against me and then been subjected to a press conference afterwards. It takes a toll on your self-esteem.” At press time, Grand Slam tournament organizers announced plans to consider permanently banning Osaka for the sake of the game.