Naomi Osaka makes glamorous return to the spotlight after tennis storm

Naomi Osaka has taken to social media for the first time since her French Open withdrawal to check on her followers and spruik a glamorous new project.

The tennis star shocked the world when she pulled out of Roland Garros after her first round win, citing mental health concerns.

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Osaka had earlier announced she would be boycotting all press conferences at the grand slam in protest against what she alleged was a lack of care shown for players’ mental health, and later revealed she had suffered “long bouts of depression” since the 2018 US Open final and gets “anxiety” when speaking to the world’s media.

Osaka told everyone she would be taking a break but has returned to the spotlight in eye-catching fashion on social media.

In her first post in three weeks, the world No. 2 took to Twitter and Instagram to share images from a photo shoot with fashion magazine Vogue — accompanied by a short caption.

“Hi guys. Popping out to post this @voguejapan cover, hope you’re all doing well and staying safe,” she wrote, with two love heart emojis.

The magazine cover showed Osaka wearing orange pants and a blue bikini, while in another snap she is wearing a colourful pink, black and lime green tracksuit.

A post shared by 大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka)

After leaving the French Open early, speculation raged about whether Osaka would return for Wimbledon, which kicks off later this month. The four-time major winner confirmed last week she won’t be playing at the All-England club, but is aiming instead to be back for the Tokyo Olympics.

“Naomi won’t be playing Wimbledon this year,” a statement from her agent read. “She is taking some personal time with friends and family. She will be ready for the Olympics and is excited to play in front of her home fans.”

Osaka was fined nearly $AUD20,000 and threatened with disqualification from Roland Garros after she refused to honour mandatory media commitments — but French Open organisers protested they had treated her with “care and respect” after they were accused of being heavy-handed.

Meanwhile, Osaka was widely criticised for accusing the press of not respecting athletes’ mental health as some in the media accused her of lying. Fellow players including Australian Ash Barty distanced themselves from the 23-year-old, saying speaking to the press was part of the job that comes with playing professional tennis.

Osaka won’t be wearing all-white at Wimbledon this year.Source:AFP

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