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Stephen Curry Has 'Major Respect' for Naomi Osaka After She Withdrew from French Open

Jenna CiccotelliCorrespondent IIMay 31, 2021

Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry spoke out in support of four-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka after the tennis star withdrew from the French Open.

Osaka released a statement announcing her decision on Monday, one day after Roland Garros fined her for failure to fulfill media requirements at the tournament.  

Stephen Curry @StephenCurry30

You shouldnt ever have to make a decison like this-but so damn impressive taking the high road when the powers that be dont protect their own. major respect @naomiosaka https://t.co/OcRd95MqCn

Osaka said Wednesday she wouldn't engage with the press during the French Open, citing mental health reasons. 

Osaka revealed more about dealing with mental health issues in her announcement Monday, saying she has experienced "long bouts of depression" since competing at the U.S. Open in 2018. 

“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,” Osaka wrote. 

The 23-year-old was fined $15,000 after she did not participate in a press conference following her first round victory over Patricia Maria Tig. However, she did engage in an on-court interview after the win. 

Roland Garros said Osaka could be subject to further punishments should she continue to avoid the media, including further fines and suspensions, as well as default from the tournament.

While she won't be leading the way on the French Open court, her message resonated throughout the sports world. In addition to Curry, rising tennis star Coco Gauff and Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant replied to Osaka on Monday.

"I admire your vulnerability," Gauff wrote, while Morant told Osaka, "We with you."

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