Naomi Osaka has pulled out of Wimbledon on Thursday for personal reasons but is likely to play the Tokyo Olympics.
Japan’s Osaka quit the French Open last month following her first-round victory after organisers fined her $15,000 and threatened her with expulsion from the tournament when she refused to attend mandatory post-match press conferences.
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The 23-year-old, who said she has “social anxiety”, explained that the media’s line of questioning after matches impacted her mental well-being.
“Naomi won’t be playing Wimbledon this year. 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’s agent told Reuters via email.
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Wimbledon organisers, the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC), said Osaka would be “greatly missed” at the Grand Slam this year.
“We completely understand her decision,” the AELTC said. “We wish her a happy time with her friends and family and look forward to welcoming her back to Wimbledon next year.”
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Osaka’s participation at Wimbledon was in doubt this month when she pulled out of a WTA 500 grasscourt tournament in Berlin which was meant to serve as a tune-up for the Grand Slam.
Osaka, a four-times Grand Slam winner, had announced in the build-up to the French Open that she would not face the media and stuck to her stance.
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A strongly-worded letter from the board of the four Grand Slam tournaments followed, warning her of possible expulsion from Roland Garros and future majors – after which she announced her withdrawal on social media.