Naomi Osaka thanks fans for support

Four-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka posted her first social media comments on Saturday since pulling out of the French Open after a dispute over attending press conferences.

Osaka, who also had revealed her ongoing battle with depression and anxiety, thanked her supporters in a brief message on Instagram.

“Just want to say thank you for all the love. Haven’t been on my phone much but I wanted to hop on here and tell you all that I really appreciate it,” she wrote.

French tennis officials fined Osaka $15,000 and threatened to remove her from the tournament for not honouring mandatory media commitments, prompting the 23-year-old Japanese star to withdraw on her own. French Open officials said they tried unsuccessfully to speak with Osaka before she pulled out.

Osaka said earlier that post-match news conferences are detrimental to her mental health and likened the traditional question and answer format to “kicking people when they’re down.”

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