Naomi Osaka on Monday ended her social media silence to reveal she was on the cover for Vogue Magazine Japan.
Osaka had gone dark on social media after dropping out of the French Open in wake of her decision to skip press availabilities at the event. She said last week she was skipping Wimbledon for “personal time.”
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“Hi guys. Popping out to post this @voguemagazine Japan cover, hope you’re all doing well and staying safe,” she wrote.
Osaka announced her decision to withdraw from the French Open on May 31. She had been threatened with fines and a default if she refused to follow the rules and meet with the media.
She explained in a statement that she could have explained herself better and decided she was going to take a break from tennis and social media.
“This isn’t a situation I ever imagined or intended when I posted a few days ago. I think now the best thing for the tournament, the other players and my well-being is that I withdraw so that everyone can get back to focusing on the tennis going on in Paris. I never wanted to be a distraction and I accept my timing was not ideal and my message could have been clearer,” Osaka wrote.
NAOMI OSAKA WITHDRAWS FROM WIMBLEDON TO TAKE ‘PERSONAL TIME,’ WILL COMPETE AT OLYMPICS
“More importantly I would never trivialize mental health or use the term lightly. The truth is that I suffered long bouts of depression since the US Open in 2018 and I have had a really hard time coping with that. Anyone that knows me knows I’m introverted, and anyone that has seen me at tournaments will notice that I’m often wearing headphones as that helps dulls my social anxiety.
Osaka apologized to the “cool journalists” who she “may have hurt,’ but explained that she’s not a “natural public speaker” and experiences intense anxiety addressing the media. “I get really nervous and find it stressful to always engage and give you the best answers I can.”
“So here in Paris I was already feeling vulnerable and anxious so I thought it was better to exercise self-care and skip the press conferences. I announced it pre-emptively because I do feel like the rules are quite outdated in parts and I wanted to highlight that. I wrote privately to the tournament apologizing and saying that I would be more than happy to speak with them after the tournament as the Slams are intense. I’m gonna take some time away from the court now, but when the time is right I really want to work with the Tour to discuss ways we can make things better for the playoffs, press and fans.”
Osaka concluded her statement with “Anyways hope you are all doing well and staying safe, I love you guys I’ll see you when I see you.”
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Earlier this month, Osaka decided to withdraw from Wimbledon with her focus on the Olympics. She will be representing Japan.