‘Courageous’: Japanese athletes and sponsors voice support for Naomi Osaka

Messages flood in after tennis player withdraws from French Open saying press conferences worsen her anxiety and depression

Athletes and sponsors in Naomi Osaka’s native Japan have joined much of the tennis world in rallying behind the player after she withdrew from the French Open, citing struggles with anxiety and depression.

The Japanese world No 2 left the grand slam tournament on Monday, days after she had been fined and threatened with expulsion for refusing to attend press conferences, saying she needed to protect her mental wellbeing.

Related: We’re not the good guys: Osaka shows up problems of press conferences | Jonathan Liew

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