Source: Andy Cheung / Getty
In a statement released by her agent on Thursday (June 18th), Naomi Osaka announced that she has withdrawn
The world’s number two ranked player in women’s tennis, Osaka is bowing out of the Grand Slam event before
it takes place at the end of the month. “Naomi won’t be playing Wimbledon this year,” the statement read. “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.” The Haitian-Japanese tennis star had also withdrawn from the WTA 5000 grass-court tournament scheduled to begin next week in Berlin, Germany.
Osaka has been open about her struggles with anxiety and depression, which surged after the first of her four Grand Slam title wins in 2018 at the US Open. She cited this as the reason behind her choice to skip the post-match press conferences at the French Open. The superstar would later withdraw from the tournament after being fined and publicly chastised by the organizers at Roland-Garros. This led to a flurry of support across the globe which included heartfelt messages from celebrities and athletes.
The organizers at Wimbledon had been in contact with Osaka and her team prior to the announcement, which was confirmed by Sally Bolton, All England Club chief executive on Thursday. At the time, Bolton said, “”We have started a consultation. Of course, that consultation needs to include not just the players, but the media and all of those engaged in that space.” The tournament director, Jamie Baker had also said he informed Osaka’s team that organizers were “completely open for any discussions” in case of any issues.
After the press statement was released, the press team at Wimbledon sent out a tweet of support for Naomi Osaka wishing her success.