Naomi Osaka: WTA player calls attention to alleged defamation by French Open judge

Naomi Osaka won her maiden WTA singles title earlier this month

Naomi Osaka says she “did some things wrong” during her withdrawal from the French Open last year – which has reportedly become the subject of a defamation lawsuit.

The 20-year-old Japanese player has said she was close to withdrawing from the tournament on numerous occasions.

The court case centres on comments Osaka made to the BBC last year, when she admitted it was “a real possibility” she could have withdrawn.

She had been denied entry because of a match penalty she received in April.

In a statement, Osaka’s lawyer said she was defending herself from media defamation.

“Ms Osaka could not win this case unless the media admitted that they all knew from the start they were slandering her and it was their responsibility to publish that she was happy to play the last match of the tournament,” read the statement.

Osaka’s statement on the court case said she missed the French Open because “the judge denied me entry to the tournament and imposed a fine of 3,000 euros for failure to enter the tournament”.

She added: “I learned about a few weeks later that the judge had made a decision in the match against Lesia Tsurenko.

“My opponent did not rule that I had intentionally interrupted the game. No one disputed the penalty.”

Having reached the second round of the Open Finals, Osaka’s win against Julia Goerges in Paris, and the US Open singles title she won last month, make her the first Japanese player to win both titles.

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