Tennis: Osaka withdraws from Wimbledon, targets Olympics

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jun 18 2021 04:28 AM

Tennis: Osaka withdraws from Wimbledon, targets Olympics 1
Naomi Osaka in action during her first round match at the French Open on May 30. Christian Hartmann, Reuters

Japanese star Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from Wimbledon, her agent confirmed Thursday, weeks after the world No. 2 pulled out of the French Open citing her struggle with depression and anxiety. 

"Naomi won't be playing Wimbledon this year," Osaka's agent Stuart Duguid said in an email to AFP. "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."

On Wednesday, Wimbledon organizers said the 23-year-old four-time Grand Slam champion was expected to take part in the championships, which start on June 28.

"At this point in time she's entered into the championships and we haven't received confirmation that she won't compete," All England Club chief executive Sally Bolton said.

Osaka has been in the spotlight since withdrawing from the French Open.

She was fined $15,000 and threatened with disqualification from Roland Garros after she refused to honor mandatory media commitments.

French Open organizers protested that they had treated her with "care and respect" after they were accused of being heavy-handed.

Osaka lost in the third round of Wimbledon in 2017 and 2018 and bowed out in the first round in 2019. Last year's tournament was cancelled due to coronavirus.

Earlier Thursday, two-time Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal also announced he would be skipping this year's tournament as well as the Olympics in order "to prolong my career".

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