Billie Jean King wishes Naomi Osaka well after withdrawing from French Open

·2-min read

Tennis legend Billie Jean King has sent Naomi Osaka her well-wishes following her decision to drop out of the French Open.

Osaka was fined and threatened with disqualification after failing to show up for a post-match media session following her first round win on Sunday, and on Monday, she withdrew from the tournament because she didn't want her decision to distract from the competition on the court, and in her statement, she shared that speaking to the press gives her anxiety so she opted out of the conferences for the sake of her mental health.

King reacted to the decision by praising the 23-year-old on Twitter on Monday.

"It’s incredibly brave that Naomi Osaka has revealed her truth about her struggle with depression," she tweeted. "Right now, the important thing is that we give her the space and time she needs. We wish her well."

The message is in stark contrast to her initial mixed response. On Sunday, King published a note on Twitter in which she called on Osaka to consider how important the media is for women in sport

"I fully admire and respect what Naomi is doing with her platform, so I am a little torn as I try to learn from both sides of this situation. In our day, without the press, nobody would have known who we are or what we thought. There is no question they helped build and grow our sport to what it is today," she wrote.

"I acknowledge things are very different now with social media and everyone having an immediate ability to speak their truth. The media still play an important role in telling our story. There is no question that the media needs to respect certain boundaries. But at the end of the day it is important that we respect each other and we are in this together."

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