There are doubts over whether Naomi Osaka will take part at Wimbledon later this month after the world No.2 pulled out of next week’s Berlin WTA 5000 grass-court tournament.
The Berlin event would have been a tune-up tournament for the Japanese star after she recently withdrew from Roland-Garros.
Event organisers of the Berlin WTA 5000 revealed Osaka plans to take time away from the sport, which has now cast doubt over whether she will participate at Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics next month.
“We have received notification Naomi Osaka cannot start in Berlin. After consulting her management, she will take a break,” Berlin event organisers said in a statement.
Osaka last week announced she was pulling out of the Roland-Garros. That decision came after being fined for refusing to attend the mandatory post-match media conference.
The world No.2 says she has suffered long periods of depression since winning the 2018 US Open, and says media conferences are not good for her mental health.
Leading commentator, and former player, Sam Smith, told Wide World of Sports last week she was hopeful Osaka will find a way to compete at Wimbledon, where she’s twice made the third round.
“The English are great at getting around tables and thrashing things out, and obviously we want Naomi to play at Wimbledon, so I’m just hoping the All England Club speak to her management, and Naomi if possible, and find a way to get through this so that’s she’s OK,” she told Wide World of Sports.
Venus reacts to Osaka withdrawal
“The irony is she’s done this to relieve the pressure from the media, and it’s had completely the opposite effect.
“It’s caused a media storm, and caused a lot of fallout on her fellow competitors who’ve had to answer questions about it, which she did not intend at all.”
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