Tennis

Osaka gets support from Japan over French Open controversy

Leading figures in tennis and sports in general have shown support to Japanese Tennis star, Naomi Osaka after she withdrew from the French Open.

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The world number two pulled out of the Roland Garros over controversy about post-match media duties, saying she had been suffering from “depression” and “anxiety.”

The four-time Grand Slam champion declared her intentions to avoid press conferences during the tournament last week to protect her mental wellbeing. She returned to Twitter on Monday to announce her withdrawal after being fined and threatened with expulsion for declining to face the media after her first-round match on Sunday.

While the Japanese 23-year-old received little backing from her fellow professionals, most of her colleagues claimed that dealing with the media was part of the job. Her withdrawal triggered a wave of support from around the world, especially from her home country, Japan.

“The first thing to be considered is Ms. Osaka’s health. I wish her the earliest possible recovery,” Japan Tennis Association (JTA) Executive Director Toshihisa Tsuchihashi said in a statement on Tuesday.

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In the same vein, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told a news conference that he would “watch over her quietly” and claimed that there was concern on the streets of Tokyo for the woman who will be one of the faces of this year’s Olympic Games in the city.

Osaka earned $55.2 million over the past 12 months according to sports business website Sportico. She will hope to help Japan claim gold medals in the Tennis category of the 2020 Olympic games.

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