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Athletes rally behind Naomi Osaka’s withdrawal from the French Open

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One of the biggest names in women’s tennis has stunned the tennis world, withdrawing from the French Open due to mental health concerns.

After winning her round one match Naomi Osaka refused to speak to the media in what is a traditional press conference – post any match at the grand slams.

Osaka was fined USD$15,000 and initially slammed by other players.

Grand Slam officials threatened to suspend Osaka from future tournaments after she boycotted the press conferences during the French Open.

The 23-year-old said last week she would not do news conferences at the French open to protect her mental health.

World number two Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from the French Open, REVEALING A STATEMENT ON SOCIAL MEDIA.

It’s a story that turned within the space of a few hours. Initially players including Ash Barty and Rafa Nadal suggested press conferences are part of the sport, but the backlash against the tournament has been fierce.

NBA coach Stan Van Gundy sent out a tweet saying “Just a question for the tennis authorities – is it better for your sport to have Naomi Osaka playing and not speaking to the media or not playing at all?”

Other influential names to support Osaka included Billie Jean King, Venus Williams, NBA Star Steph Curry and Sloane Stephens.

The Japanese four-time major winner says she gets “huge waves of anxiety” before speaking to the world’s media.

Osaka sent out a statement across her social media channels saying quote “Anyone that knows me knows that Im introverted. and anyone that has seen me at the tournaments will notice that I’m often wearing headphones as that helps dull my social anxiety”

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Williams loses first round at Wimbledon

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There’s been a bit of drama on the court as the most prestigious tennis Grand Slam gets underway

Spectators filled the All England Club on Monday to watch the biggest tennis stars hit the court at Wimbledon.

After coming back from a lengthy break, Serena Williams lost in three sets to 24-year-old, Harmony Tan.

“When I saw the draw, I was really scared. I don’t know what to say, I’m so emotional now because she’s a superstar,” Tan says.

Tan took the first set 7-5, before Williams took over 6-1. Tan fought back to win a thrilling third set tie-breaker.

“Because it’s Serena Williams, she’s a legend. I was like, oh my God. How can I play? If I could win one game, or two games, it’s really good for me.”

HARMONY TAN

Despite her dramatic loss, the former world number one is brushing off retirement rumours.

Kyrgios spits at crowd

Meanwhile, in men’s singles, Aussie tennis star, Nick Kyrgios, caused a bit of a stir calling the chair umpire a “snitch” after she supposedly complained to the court umpire about his behaviour.

The 27-year-old will likely be up for a fine for also spitting towards a fan during the match.

Kyrgios says there was a lot of disrespect from the crowd, which is why he admitted to spitting towards a fan.

“I’ve been dealing with hate and negativity for a long time, so I don’t feel like I owed that person anything,” he says.

The ATP remains in crisis talks over Wimbledon’s Russia ban.

Katerina Kostakos contributed to this report

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Mike Riley steps down as referee chief

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One of the biggest names in the referee world, Mike Riley, has confirmed he will be stepping down as head of the English League referees

After 13 years, Mike Riley has confirmed he will be stepping down from his role as managing director of Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL).

The iconic referee leader will finish his role at the end of the 2022-23 season. Riley says he has enjoyed working in such a ‘dedicated group’.

“I am proud of the contribution our match officials have made to the professional game and have enjoyed working with a such a dedicated, professional and high-quality group at all of the levels that PGMOL manages.

As the elite referee development plan begins to take shape, now is the right time to plan for the future and allow the new leadership team to build on the strong foundations that we have in place. I look forward to working with the new team over the next season and giving them my support before I step down.”

mike riley

The Premier League formally thanked Riley for his contributions and commitment over the last 13 years.

“On behalf of the Premier League, I would like to thank Mike for his valuable contribution and significant commitment to PGMOL over the last 13 years as well as his considerable service to the game as an elite referee for 20 years,” said the Premier League chief executive, Richard Masters.

“During his time at PGMOL, he has worked hard to deliver and develop high-quality match officials across the professional game and led on the implementation of VAR into the Premier League three seasons ago.”

PGMOL

The search is now on to replace the top spot with Riley collaborating with the new team before officially stepping down.

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Hero coach rescues U.S. swimmer at Olympic event

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U.S. Swimming coach, Andrea Fuentes, has saved the life of an American Swimmer, Anita Alvarez, at the FINA World Championships

Fuentes dived into the pool to rescue unconscious Alvarez from the bottom after her Olympic qualifying event.

In a nightmare moment, the 25-year-old didn’t return for breath after her synchronised swimming event and instead began to sink.

In a split-moment decision, Coach Fuentes jumped into the pool to rescue her, after the lifeguards failed to act.

When a swimmer finishes their routine, the first thing they want to do is breathe and so I saw that instead of going up, she was going down and I told myself, ‘Something is going on’ … So I went in as fast as I could.”

Andrea Fuentes

The young Olympic medalist was unconscious and not breathing but quickly received medical attention on the edge of the pool.

She was taken to hospital and is now reportedly in ‘good health’.

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