NIKE BACKS NAOMI OSAKA AFTER SHE WITHDRAWS FROM FRENCH OPEN

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Nike and other major sponsors have come out in support of tennis star Naomi Osaka, following her decision to withdraw from the French Open.

The sports apparel giant — who signed a sponsorship deal with Osaka in 2019 — applauded the athlete in a statement on Monday for opening up about her struggle with depression.

Osaka’s decision to pull out of the competition came after the tournament, also called Roland Garros, fined her $15,000 for not speaking to the media following her first round match on Sunday.

Citing mental health reasons, the four-time major champion announced on Twitter last Wednesday that she would not participate in any news conferences at the tournament. Announcing her subsequent decision to withdraw, she revealed that she has “suffered long bouts of depression” since winning her first Grand Slam title in 2018.

Roland-Garros said in a statement that Osaka had failed to honor her contractual media obligations and was fined under the tournament’s Code of Conduct.