World men’s number one Novak Djokovic has come out in support of Naomi Osaka, hailing her as “brave and bold” for withdrawing from the French Open and revealing her struggles with anxiety and depression.

“I support her. I think she was very brave to do that. I’m really sorry that she is going through painful times and suffering mentally, is what I have heard,” said Djokovic on Tuesday.

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“This was, I must say, a very bold decision from her side. If she needs to take time and reflect and just recharge that’s what she needed to do, and I respect it fully. I hope that she’ll come back stronger,” he added.

World number two and four-time major winner Osaka pulled out on Monday after she was fined $15,000 and threatened with disqualification for refusing to attend press conferences.

Osaka said traditional post-match media conferences are akin to “kicking people when they’re down” and were having a detrimental effect on her mental health.