Full text: Mental health deserves utmost attention – Slams respond to Osaka’s French Open withdrawal


The four Grand Slams on Tuesday responded to Naomi Osaka withdrawal from the French Open citing her mental health, offering her support and assuring that they will work alongside the players, the tours, the media and the tennis community to improve things.

The 23-year-old had announced on Monday that she is withdrawing from French Open after her decision to not attend mandatory press conferences to protect her mental health raised a stir.

“Mental health is a very challenging issue, which deserves our utmost attention. It is both complex and personal, as what affects one individual does not necessarily affect another. We commend Naomi for sharing in her own words the pressures and anxieties she is feeling and we empathise with the unique pressures tennis players may face,” the statement, published by Roland Garros on behalf of the organisers of the four Majors, said.

“Change should come through the lens of maintaining a fair playing field, regardless of ranking or status. Sport requires rules and regulations to ensure that no player has an unfair advantage over another,” it added.

Osaka, in her second statement, said she had suffered long bouts of depression since the US Open in 2018 and had a really hard time coping. She explained in her latest statement her thought process behind skipping media duties at Roland Garros.

Also read:

Naomi Osaka withdraws from French Open 2021: Here’s all you need to know

Full text: ‘I never wanted to be a distraction’ – Naomi Osaka’s statement

Naomi Osaka withdraws from French Open: What can tennis learn?

Mental health is nothing to criticise: Reactions to Osaka’s withdrawal

Here’s the full text of the statement issued by Majors on Tuesday:

On behalf of the Grand Slams, we wish to offer Naomi Osaka our support and assistance in any way possible as she takes time away from the court. She is an exceptional athlete and we look forward to her return as soon as she deems appropriate.

Mental health is a very challenging issue, which deserves our utmost attention. It is both complex and personal, as what affects one individual does not necessarily affect another. We commend Naomi for sharing in her own words the pressures and anxieties she is feeling and we empathise with the unique pressures tennis players may face. While players’ wellbeing has always been a priority to the Grand Slams, our intention, together with the WTA, the ATP and the ITF, is to advance mental health and wellbeing through further actions.

Together as a community we will continue to improve the player experience at our tournaments, including as it relates to media. Change should come through the lens of maintaining a fair playing field, regardless of ranking or status. Sport requires rules and regulations to ensure that no player has an unfair advantage over another.

We intend to work alongside the players, the tours, the media and the broader tennis community to create meaningful improvements. As Grand Slams, we aim to create the stage for the players to achieve the highest accolades in our sport.

On behalf of:

Jayne Hrdlicka, Tennis Australia Chair & President

Gilles Moretton, FFT President

Ian Hewitt, AELTC Chairman

Mike McNulty, USTA Chairman of the Board & President

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