Naomi Osaka: Star thanks fans “for all the love” in touching social media post

Osaka

Naomi Osaka has spoken out for the first time since withdrawing from the French Open for mental health reasons.

The Japanese star pulled out of the tournament on Monday after her refusal to speak to the media was met with backlash.

In a message posted to her fans on Twitter, the 23-year-old also revealed she’d “suffered long bouts of depression” dating as far back as the 2018 US Open and has had “a really hard time coping with that.”

The world number two is one of a number of top stars who have either withdrawn or retired from this year’s event. Simona Halep suffered a calf tear in the build-up to the competition, Ashleigh Barty retired from her second-round match against Magda Linette with a hip problem and Kvitová suffered a freak ankle injury during press duties.

Now, almost a week on from her decision to leave the Grand Slam, Osaka has posted a touching message on her Instagram story.

“Just want to thank you for all the love,” she wrote. “Haven’t been on my phone much but I wanted to hop on here and tell you all that I really appreciate it.”

The four-time major champion is currently taking time away from the court and her return is still unknown at this stage.

Wimbledon starts just two weeks after the conclusion of the French Open, however, Osaka has yet to make it past the third round so far in her career, so may choose to sit out a second Slam in a row.

Osaka

It may be the case that we see her return when the hard court season resumes again. The two-time US Open champion is the reigning champion at Flushing Meadows and will surely be keen to defend her title.

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