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French federation head ‘sorry and sad’ for Osaka

The president of the French tennis federation said Naomi Osaka’s withdrawal from the French Open is “unfortunate” and wished her the “quickest possible recovery.”

The four-time Slam champion pulled out of French Open on Monday, saying that she would be taking a break from competition. She said she has “suffered long bouts of depression.” She had previously declared she would not speak to the media during Roland Garros and was fined $15,000 after she skipped the post-match news conference following her first-round victory Sunday.

In a statement to journalists at Roland Garros, Gilles Moretton said “first and foremost we are sorry and sad for Naomi Osaka.”

Moretton said he is looking forward “to having Naomi in our tournament next year,” and insisted that the event organizers were committed to “all athletes’ well-being.”

Former French Open champion Garbiñe Muguruza has lost her opening match at Roland Garros to 18-year-old Marta Kostyuk of Ukraine, 6-1, 6-4.

Muguruza received treatment for a back issue between sets and made a slew of aggressive errors, as though eager to end rallies quickly. She won the tournament in 2016, won Wimbledon in 2017 and was seeded 12th. It was her first opening-round exit at the French Open.

Kostyuk, ranked 81st, earned her first win over a top 20 player.

Naomi Osaka says on Twitter that “the best thing for the tournament” is if she withdraws from the French Open.

Osaka is a four-time Grand Slam champion and former No. 1-ranked player.

She had declared she would not speak to the media during Roland Garros and was fined $15,000 after she skipped the post-match news conference following her first-round victory Sunday.

On Monday she tweeted: “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.”

She also wrote that she has “suffered long bouts of depression” since the 2018 U.S. Open, which she won by beating Serena Williams in a final filled with controversy.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.

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