Japan Rallies To Support Naomi Osaka After She Pulled Out Of French Open

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Japan on June 1 joined leading tennis figures who have been rallying around Naomi Osaka after she withdrew from the French Open on May 31.

The world number 2 player decided to pull out of the tournament after being fined and threatened with expulsion for declining to face the media after her first-round match on May 30.

It may be mentioned here that the four-time Grand Slam champion had last week signalled her intentions to skip her media duties to protect her mental well-being.

“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 June 1

“I think she’s under a lot of pressure, more than we can imagine,” kimono dresser Tomomi Noguchi, 67, told news agency Reuters.

“She got to the top when she was young so I think we can’t really imagine what she’s going through,” Noguchi added.

Earlier, Williams sisters- Serena and Venus- chimed in with messages of support for the 23-year-old as the focus shifted from Osaka’s responsibilities to her wellbeing.

There were also messages of support posted on social media from athletes in other sports.

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