Naomi Osaka receives support from Venus and Serena Williams after opening up about her mental health

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Japanese people in Tokyo said they were surprised and sympathetic in the wake of Naomi Osaka's withdrawal from the French Open.

Osaka said she had been suffering from "depression" and "anxiety."

Her decision to pull-out came a day after she was fined $15 000 (just over R200 000) for not holding a press conference after winning her first-round match.

Officials also threatened to expel her from the French Open and future majors if she continued to refuse to attend news conferences after her matches.

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But on the streets of Tokyo, people supported Osaka's decision:

"I was surprised. There's the coronavirus now as well, so I think she's going through a lot mentally."

While, others were sympathetic of her health:

"I think she's under a lot of pressure, more than we can imagine. She got to the top when she was young so I think we can't really imagine what she's going through."

Japan Tennis Association wished her the earliest possible recovery.

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The Williams sisters, Serena and Venus, chimed in with messages of support.

There were also posts from other athletes. "You shouldn't ever have to make a decision like this - but so damn impressive taking the high road when the powers that be don't protect their own. Major respect," wrote NBA All-Star Steph Curry on social media.

Meanwhile, there was some criticism of the organizers of the tournament.

French Tennis Federation President Gilles Moretton read a prepared statement on Monday, offering Osaka their support but the irony of him not taking questions afterwards was not lost on some.

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