“I think now the best thing for the tournament, the other players and my well-being is that I withdraw," Osaka wrote in a statement. She opened up more about her struggles with mental health after she was fined $15,000 by the USTA for refusing to talk to the media after she won her first-round match. “The truth is that I have suffered long bouts of depression since the US Open in 2018 and I have had a really hard time coping with that,” she wrote. Though fans seemed a little outraged at her disregard for the contractual obligation, many athletes are rallying behind her.
NBA player Steph Curry wrote in a tweet, "You shouldn't ever have to make a decision like this - but so damn impressive taking the high road when the powers that be don't protect their own. Major respect @naomiosaka." Olympic Gymnast Laurie Hernandez also showed her support, "Even though it shouldn't have to be like this, I'm proud of you for putting your foot down. Your mental health matters and should always come first."
Some, however, were not on Osaka's side. Tennis legend Billie Jean King wrote, "In our day, without the press, nobody would have known who we are or what we thought. There is no question [the press] helped build and grow our sport to what it is today." However, once Osaka revealed her reason for not answering to any press, King revised her statement. "It’s incredibly brave that Naomi Osaka has revealed her truth about her struggle with depression. Right now, the important thing is that we give her space and time she needs. We wish her well.”