Naomi Osaka Says Meghan Markle Reached Out After Decision to Leave French Open

Looks like Will Smith, Kerry Washington and Serena Williams weren’t the only ones praising Naomi Osaka for her recent decision to withdraw from the French Open. Turns out, Meghan Markle also privately sent her support.

Back in May, the 23-year-old tennis champion decided not to participate in standard post-match news conferences for mental health reasons and therefore was fined $15,000 for not abiding by the media requirements. Osaka then released a statement revealing that she would not continue to participate in the Open in order to take care of her mental health.

“Hey everyone, 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 well-being is that I withdraw so that everyone can get back to focusing on the tennis going on in Paris,” Osaka wrote in a message on social media.

Now, Osaka is taking some time to thank those who came to her defense in an essay for TIME Magazine titled It’s O.K. Not to Be O.K. To our surprise, she even called out Meghan Markle.

She wrote, “I want to thank everyone who supported me. There are too many to name, but I want to start with my family and friends, who have been amazing. There is nothing more important than those relationships. I also want to thank those in the public eye who have supported, encouraged and offered such kind words. Michelle Obama, Michael Phelps, Steph Curry, Novak Djokovic, Meghan Markle, to name a few. Michael Phelps told me that by speaking up I may have saved a life. If that’s true, then it was all worth it.”

Unfortunately, the athlete didn’t elaborate on what the Duchess of Sussex had to say, but we’re sure inspiring words of encouragement were involved.

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