Former No 1 tennis player Martina Navratilova
Martina Navratilova has deleted a tweet in which she claimed Naomi Osaka’s media boycott had “inadvertently made her situation worse” following the four-time grand slam champion’s withdrawal from the French Open.
“While she tried to make a situation better for herself and others, she inadvertently made it worse,” Navratilova originally wrote. “Hope this solution, pulling out, as brutal as it is, will allow her to start healing and take care of her SELF.”
Osaka was fined £10,600 for skipping post-match duties after her first-round victory and she was threatened with expulsion from the event in a united statement by the four grand slams.
Osaka subsequently issued a new statement revealing she has been suffering from bouts of depression since 2018 and confirmed that she was withdrawing from Roland Garros.
Osaka’s statement drew widespread support from fellow athletes and Navratilova subsequently posted a new tweet, which read: “I am so sad about Naomi Osaka. I truly hope she will be okay. As athletes we are taught to take care of our body, and perhaps the mental and emotional aspect gets short shrift.
“This is about more than doing or not doing a press conference. Good luck Naomi – we are all pulling for you.”
The French Open has received backlash for their since-deleted tweet featuring photos of Rafael Nadal, Kei Nishikori, Aryna Sabalenka and Coco Gauff conducting media appearances alongside the captain: “They understood the assignment”.
A statement released by Gilles Moretton, the president of the French Tennis Federation, said: “The outcome of Naomi withdrawing from Roland-Garros is unfortunate. We wish her the best and quickest possible recovery, and we look forward to having Naomi at our Tournament next year.
“As all the Grand Slams, the WTA, the ATP and the ITF, we remain very committed to all athletes’ wellbeing and to continually improving every aspect of players’ experience in our Tournament, including with the Media, like we have always strived to do.”
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