Naomi Osaka Withdraws from 2021 Wimbledon, Plans to Play in Tokyo Olympics

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJune 17, 2021


Naomi Osaka is withdrawing from Wimbledon after also pulling out of the French Open. 

"She is taking some personal time with friends and family," her representatives said in a statement, per SportsCenter on Twitter. "She will be ready for the Olympics and is excited to play in front of her home fans."

It's a huge loss for the tournament, as the 23-year-old has emerged as the brightest young star in tennis. It follows Rafael Nadal announcing he too would be skipping Wimbledon, along with the Tokyo Olympics:

Rafa Nadal @RafaelNadal

The goal is to prolong my career and continue to do what makes me happy, that is to compete at the highest level and keep fighting for those professional and personal goals at he maximum level of competition.

Rafa Nadal @RafaelNadal

Sport prevention of any kind of excess in my body is a very important factor at this stage of my career in order to try to keep fighting for the highest level of competition and titles.

Before Osaka's and Nadal's withdrawals, All England Club chief executive Sally Bolton said Thursday that Wimbledon organizers had been in contact with Osaka and other players about this year's media setup.

"We have started a consultation," she told BBC Radio 4's Today Programme. "Of course, that consultation needs to include not just the players, but the media and all of those engaged in that space. We are always striving to do things better."

Osaka had announced on May 26 that she wouldn't be doing press at Roland Garros, and the tournament responded by fining her $15,000. 

NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ @naomiosaka

❤️ pic.twitter.com/EegFSKnoie

"We have advised Naomi Osaka that should she continue to ignore her media obligations during the tournament, she would be exposing herself to possible further Code of Conduct infringement consequences," the four Grand Slam tournaments wrote in a joint statement.

"As might be expected, repeat violations attract tougher sanctions including default from the tournament and the trigger of a major offence investigation that could lead to more substantial fines and future Grand Slam suspensions."

On May 31 Osaka pulled out of the tournament altogether, writing in a Twitter post that she had been battling with depression and social anxiety and had felt it would be better for her mental health to not meet with the press. She wrote that she planned to take some time away from the court:

NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ @naomiosaka


Osaka had already pulled out of this week's Berlin WTA 5000 grass-court tournament ahead of Wimbledon, which begins June 28. 


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