Naomi Osaka thanks fans for ‘love’ since French Open withdrawal

Naomi Osaka has expressed her gratitude for the “love” she has received since withdrawing from the French Open. 

The world number two headed home to Los Angeles after opening up about her battles with depression and social anxiety on Monday amid the reaction over her decision not to fulfil her media commitments at Roland Garros.

Osaka was fined $15,000 (£10,570) for not doing post-match media after her first-round win and threatened with expulsion from the tournament if she continued to avoid them.

The 23-year-old has since received support from across the sporting world and beyond.

Naomi Osaka on Instagram 👇 pic.twitter.com/yy1Q3BwpvZ

In her first social media activity since Monday, Osaka wrote in an Instagram Story: “Just want to say thank you for all the love. Haven’t been on my phone much but I wanted to hop on here and tell you all that I really appreciate it.”

In a tweet announcing her decision to withdraw, Japan’s Osaka said she had “suffered long bouts of depression” since winning her first Grand Slam title at the US Open in 2018.

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Osaka also said she would be taking some time away from the court and it remains to be seen where she will play next.

The four-time Grand Slam champion has pulled out of what was scheduled to be her first tournament on grass this season in Berlin beginning on June 14 and there are doubts over whether she will play at Wimbledon.

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