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Tennis superstar Naomi Osaka withdrew from the French Open after she was fined $15,000 and threatened with disqualification for refusing to take part in a press conferences.

The 23-year-old tennis champ, who plays for Japan, was a no-show during her post-match press conference on Sunday, May 30, after defeating Romania's Patricia Maria Tig.

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Tournament officials at Roland Garros threatened Naomi and warned her that higher fines and a possible suspension could be issued if she refused to speak to the press.

Osaka made headlines last week when she issued a statement saying she would skip post-match press conferences at the French Open, citing mental health concerns.

"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.

"We're often sat there and asked questions that we've been asked multiple times before or asked questions that bring doubt into our minds and I'm just not going to subject myself to people that doubt me."

And in an email to French Open officials Naomi insisted her actions are "100 percent nothing against the French Open or even the press members themselves."

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In a statement posted on social media on Sunday, the world's No. 2 women's tennis player wrote:

"Hey everyone, 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.

"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. 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."

Tournament bosses released a statement that read: "We have advised Naomi Osaka that should she continue to ignore her media obligations, she would be exposing herself to possible further code of conduct infringement consequences."

Officials said "repeat violations" could result in "tougher sanctions including default from the tournament and the trigger of a major offense investigation that could lead to more substantial fines and future Grand Slam suspensions."

Naomi was scheduled to play against Romania's Ana Bogdan during the French Open on Wednesday.

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Serena Williams burst into tears and abruptly ended her post-game press conference after her loss to Naomi Osaka in the semi-finals at the 2021 Australian Open on Wednesday.

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Naomi, 23, easily defeated Williams 6-3, 6-4 to advance to the 2021 Australian Open final.

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Serena embraced Naomi at the net after her defeat. Naomi, who holds a 3-2 record over Serena, denied the superstar her chance to win her 24th career Grand Slam singles title, which she's been chasing since 2018.

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The 39-year-old mom-of-one lost her composure during the post-match press conference after she was asked if she was saying her final "farewell" to the Australian Open.

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"Some people wondered if... you were almost saying farewell," said the reporter.

"I don't know. If I ever say farewell, I wouldn't tell anyone," Serena laughed.

But it was apparent that the question affected her emotionally.

Serena fought back tears as a different reporter asked if her "unforced errors" were caused by "a bad day at the office."

"I don't know... I'm done," she said, before rising from her seat and walking away.
 
 

 

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Caroline Wozniacki, 29, rocked the tennis world on Friday when she announced she is retiring from tennis to start a family with husband David Lee.

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Wozniacki and Lee are pictured on holiday in Venice in 2017. The former world No. 1 tennis champion announced her retirement in a lengthy post on Instagram. The unselfish star told her followers "there is a lot more in life that I'd like to accomplish off the court."

"I've played professionally since I was 15 years old. In that time, I've experienced an amazing first chapter of my life. With 30 WTA singles titles, a world #1 ranking for 71 weeks, a WTA Finals victory, 3 Olympics, including carrying the flag for my native Denmark, and winning the 2018 Australian Open Grand slam championship, I've accomplished everything I could ever dream of on the court."

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Wozniacki probably realizes she only has a handful of years to carry healthy babies to term without going the IVF route.

"I've always told myself, when the time comes, that there are things away from tennis that I want to do more, then it's time to be done. In recent months, I've realized that there is a lot more in life that I’d like to accomplish off the court. Getting married to David [Lee] was one of those goals and starting a family with him while continuing to travel the world and helping raise awareness about rheumatoid arthritis (project upcoming) are all passions of mine moving forward."

Doctors urge women to get pregnant before age 35 to avoid increased risk of birth defects or genetic defects.

According to the National Institutes of Health, if a woman gets pregnant at age 25, the risk of having a baby with Down syndrome is about 1 in 1,250. At age 40, the risk is 1 in 100.

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