Sympathy For Osaka In Japan Over French Open Withdrawal

Written by on June 1, 2021

Japanese fans and public figures rallied in support of tennis star Naomi Osaka on Tuesday, offering sympathy after she withdrew from the French Open and opened up about her battles with depression.

The four-time Grand Slam winner’s career is followed closely in Japan and the controversy in Paris, which followed her refusal to attend press conferences, led news bulletins on Tuesday.

Reaction in Japan was largely sympathetic, with one Twitter user urging Osaka to “take a good, long break”.

“I hope she gets to eat what she wants, watch what she wants and listen to what she wants. I hope she wraps herself up in a fluffy blanket and takes it easy until she feels content.”

Osaka revealed that she has “suffered long bouts of depression” after pulling out of the French Open on Monday, and will “take some time away from the court”.

Her withdrawal follows the fall-out from her decision to boycott press conferences at the tournament, which she said were like “kicking people when they are down”.

Osaka is expected to represent Japan at the July-August Tokyo Olympics, and will be one of the host country’s highest-profile athletes at the Games if she takes part.

But Japanese fans urged her to take care of herself first and foremost.

“I will be happy as a fan if she can restore her energy after this and make a comeback,” a 45-year-old who gave his name as Hoshino told AFP in Tokyo.

“I dare say she might withdraw from the Tokyo Olympics,” wrote one Twitter user.

“It’s disappointing, but I hope she takes her time and gets well.”


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