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Naomi Osaka. Photo: Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images

Naomi Osaka, the world's No. 2 tennis star, announced Monday she was withdrawing from the French Open amid controversy over her decision to not participate in press conferences at the tournament.

The big picture: Osaka announced last week that she would skip the news conferences, saying, "I've often felt that people have no regard for athletes mental health and this rings very true whenever I see a press conference or partake in one." She was fined $15,000 by Roland Garros on Sunday for declining to participate in a mandatory news conference.

What she's saying: "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," Osaka wrote in a statement posted on Twitter.

  • "I never wanted to be a distraction and I accept that my timing was not ideal and my message could have been clearer. More importantly I would never trivialize mental health or use the term lightly," she added.
  • "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."
  • "Though the tennis press has always been kind to me (and I wanna apologize especially to all the cool journalists who I may have hurt, I am not a natural public speaker and get huge waves of anxiety before I speak to the world's media."
  • "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'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 these better for the players, press and fans."

Go deeper: Naomi Osaka explains message behind mask names after U.S. Open title win

Go deeper

May 31, 2021 - Sports

Naomi Osaka fined $15k for declining media interviews at French Open

Osaka Naomi at Roland Garros in Paris, France on May 30. Photo: Aurelien Morissard/Xinhua via Getty Images

Naomi Osaka, the world's No. 2 tennis star and highest-paid female athlete, was fined $15,000 by Roland Garros for declining media interviews at the French Open.

The big picture: The 23-year-old "already gives very few individual interviews and has reached a level of celebrity that she can probably maintain through social media, her sponsors and coverage of her matches," the New York Times reports.

School principals are not OK

Principal Alice Hom (purple jacket) of New York's Yung Wing School P.S. 124 near a vaccination van in November. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

The overwhelming majority of secondary school principals experienced frequent stress last school year, according to a RAND Corporation report out Wednesday.

The big picture: The stress levels among female principals and principals of color were especially stark, with nearly 40% in these groups reporting constant job-related stress, compared to about 24% of male principals and 26% of white principals.

It's official: Stock market having worst start to year ever

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

It's been a decidedly ugly start to the year for the stock market, with particular pain in the tech trade.

State of play: As of the end of trading Tuesday — the 16th session of the year — 2022 is now, officially, the worst-ever start in the history of the S&P 500, according to data from Ned Davis Research, a stock market research shop.