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Naomi Osaka withdraws from Wimbledon to take “personal time”

The tennis star will make her return to the sport during the Tokyo Olympics.

Naomi Osaka Getty Images

Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from Wimbledon, according to a statement released by her agent Stuart Duguid on Thursday (June 17). “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.”

All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC), a Wimbledon tournament organizer, released a statement supporting Osaka’s decision. “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.”

This marks the third tournament that Osaka has withdrawn from. Last month, the tennis star dropped out of the French Open after organizers hit her with a $15,000 fine and threatened to expel her from the event for refusing to speak to the media.

Osaka said she wanted to protect her mental health and said that she had been dealing with periods of depression. “I think now the best thing for the tournament, the other players and my well-being is that I withdraw so that everyone can get back to focusing on the tennis going on in Paris. I never wanted to be a distraction and I accept that my timing was not ideal and my message could have been clearer,” she previously wrote.

Last week, Osaka withdrew from the Berlin WTA 5000 grass-court tournament, which was scheduled to begin on June 14, to “take a break.”

Osaka has received a lot of support after announcing her decision to take a break from the sport. Calm, a meditation and sleep app, pledged to cover the fines for tennis players who chose to opt out of interviews for mental health reasons. They also said they would match any fines they had to pay with a $15,000 donation to Laureus Sport — an organization that is working to improve the mental health space in sports.

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