Mental Health

Naomi Osaka pulls out of Wimbledon

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Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from Wimbledon, according to multiple Thursday reports, a decision that comes just weeks after the Japanese tennis star pulled out the French Open after she was fined for her refusal to speak to the press.

“Naomi won’t be playing Wimbledon this year,” read a statement provided to news outlets. “She is taking some personal time with friends and family. She will be ready for the Olympics and is excited to play in front of her home fans.”

Osaka, the highest-paid female athlete in the world, withdrew from the French Open last month to focus on her mental health after Roland Garros issued a statement saying it had fined her $15,000 for skipping mandatory interviews with the media after matches. 

“I’ve often felt that people have no regard for athletes’ mental health and this rings true whenever I see a press conference or partake in one,” she said on social media when she first announced her intention to skip interviews in Paris.

Osaka, a four-time Grand Slam champion who has discussed struggling with anxiety and depression, has used her platform to be vocal on social justice and police reform issues in America.

“Naomi Osaka will be greatly missed by all of us at Wimbledon this year, but we completely understand her decision. We wish her a happy time with her friends and family and look forward to welcoming her back to Wimbledon next year,” Wimbledon said in an emailed statement to The Hill. 

Earlier Thursday, 20-time Grand Slam Champion Rafael Nadal also announced he would not be competing in this year’s Wimbledon — nor the Tokyo Olympics — “after listening to my body.”

Tags England grand slam London Naomi Osaka Olympics Rafael Nadal Stuart Fraser Tennis Tokyo Olympics Wimbledon

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