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Tennis World Reacts To Surprising Naomi Osaka News

Naomi Osaka speaking to the media.

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 08: Naomi Osaka of Japan speaks to the media after winning the Women's Singles finals match against Serena Williams of the United States on Day Thirteen of the 2018 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 8, 2018 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

In the midst of an ongoing controversy surrounding tennis star Naomi Osaka, the 23-year-old is taking matters into her own hands. The No. 2 ranked player has withdrawn from the French Open.

Earlier this week, Osaka made headlines last week when she announced she wouldn't be meeting with reporters. She cited mental health as the primary reason.

“I’ve often felt that people have no regard for athletes mental health and this rings very true whenever I see a press conference or partake in one,” Osaka wrote on Twitter. “We’re often sat there and asked questions that we’ve been asked multiple times before or asked questions that bring doubt into our minds and I’m just not going to subject myself to people that doubt me.”

Osaka's media boycott has been met with heavy backlash. The French Open committee threatened harsher punishment, on top of a $15,000 fine, if Osaka continued her media silence. Rather than face such a potential punishment, Osaka is withdrawing from the French Open.

"I think now the best thing for the tournament, the other players and my well-being is that I withdraw so that everyone can get back to focusing on the tennis going on in Paris. I never wanted to be a distraction and I accept that my timing was not ideal and my message could have been clearer."

Take a look at Osaka's full statement below.

Tennis fans are, simply put, stunned. Naomi Osaka is must-watch television, and it's certainly disappointing she won't be competing at the French Open. But there's widespread sympathy for the 23-year-old who has dealt with "long bouts of depression since the US Open in 2018."

While difficult, Naomi Osaka's decision could prove beneficial in the long run.

At the very least, it'll begin a worthwhile conversation regarding the relationship between athletes and media members.