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Osaka avoiding press conferences is 'ballsy' - Rosberg

Retired Formula One world champion Nico Rosberg said he respects Naomi Osaka's decision to shun French Open press conferences for mental health reasons and added that she is "ballsy," but recognised opponents could find it unfair.

The German made considerable use of sports psychology as he battled and beat Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton, now the sport's most successful driver of all time, to the title in a gruelling 2016 season.

Much of the stress, the German told Reuters on Thursday, came from the media repeatedly questioning his abilities and mental strength.

"I think it's quite a ballsy step again from her," Rosberg said of Osaka's move, which Japan's four-times major winner and world number two communicated on social media.