World number two Naomi Osaka says she is withdrawing from the French Open as a result of controversy over her refusal to speak to the media during the tournament.
On Sunday a joint statement from Grand Slam organisers said Osaka could face expulsion from the tournament.
The 23-year-old said last week she would not do news conferences at Roland Garros to protect her mental health.
She said on Monday she “never wanted to be a distraction” to the event.
In a tweet, Osaka revealed she had “suffered long bouts of depression” since winning her first Grand Slam title in 2018.
The Japanese four-time major winner added that she gets “huge waves of anxiety” before speaking to the world’s media.
Osaka said she was going to “take some time away from the court now”, adding: “When the time is right I really want to work with the Tour to discuss ways we can make things better for the players, press and fans”.
When Osaka announced her decision to avoid the press on Wednesday, she said expecting players to answer questions after a defeat amounted to “kicking a person while they’re down”.
The French Open second seed won her opening match against Romania’s Patricia Maria Tig in straight sets and was fined $15,000 (£10,570) for not doing post-match media.
‘A situation I never imagined’ – Osaka’s statement in full
“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 wellbeing 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 my timing was not ideal and my message could have been clearer. More importantly, I would never trivialise mental health or use the term lightly.
“The truth is I have suffered long bouts of depression since the US Open in 2018 and I have had a really hard time coping with that.
“Anyone that knows me knows I am introverted and anyone that has seen me at tournaments will notice that I’m often wearing headphones as that helps dull my social anxiety.
“Though the tennis press has always been kind to me (and I want to apologise 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.
“I get really nervous and find it stressful to always try to engage and give you the best answers I can.
“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 announced it preemptively because I do feel like the rules are quite outdated in parts and I wanted to highlight that.
“I wrote privately to the tournament apologising and saying that I would be more than happy to speak with them after the tournament as the Slams are intense.
“I’m going to 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 things better for the players, press and fans.”
The story so far
Many athletes, both in and out of tennis, applauded Osaka’s stance after she announced it on Wednesday, although many said speaking to the media is “part of the job”.
Grand Slam rules state players can be fined up to $20,000 (£14,160) for failing to meet their media obligations, with the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) saying players “have a responsibility to their sport and their fans” to speak to the media during competitions.
Following her win over Tig, Osaka did take part in the usual on-court interview with the victor.
Later on Sunday, organisers of the four Grand Slams released a joint statement saying Osaka could face “more substantial fines and future Grand Slam suspensions” for her decision.
The Grand Slams added that following Osaka’s announcement on Wednesday, Roland Garros teams had asked her to reconsider her position and were unsuccessful in their attempts to check on her wellbeing.
After a “lack of engagement” from Osaka, the Grand Slam organisers wrote to her to offer support, as well as to “remind her of her obligations”.
In response, the two-time Australian Open champion tweeted: “Anger is a lack of understanding. Change makes people uncomfortable”.
The following day, Osaka announced her decision to withdraw from the tournament altogether.