Naomi Osaka OUT of Wimbledon for personal reasons but targets Olympics return after quitting French Open last month

JAPANESE tennis star Naomi Osaka has pulled out of Wimbledon to take ‘some personal time’.

The 23-year-old quit the French Open last month citing mental health reasons after her media boycott.

Naomi Osaka has pulled out of Wimbledon beginning later this monthCredit: Reuters

And a statement from her team on Thursday night confirmed she will not feature at the All England Club this summer.

The statement read: “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.”

Four-time grand slam champion Osaka’s best finish at Wimbledon was reaching the third round in 2017 and 2018.

Wimbledon gets underway on Monday 28 June at SW19.

And world No 2 Osaka will not be present on the grass courts.

The 23-year-old was threatened with expulsion from Roland Garros and potential suspension from the other Slams last month if she persisted not to talk to worldwide press after matches.

The world No 2 quit the French Open last month citing mental health reasons

The world No 2 quit the French Open last month citing mental health reasonsCredit: AP

But she took matters into her own hands by withdrawing from the tournament after winning her first-round match.

Her statement at the time read: “This isn’t a situation I ever imagined or intended when I posted a few days ago.

“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.

“More importantly I would never trivialise mental health or use the term lightly.

“The truth is that I have suffered long bouts of depression since the US Open in 2018 and I have had a really hard time coping with that.

“Anyone that knows me knows I’m introverted, and anyone that has seen me at the tournaments will notice that I’m often wearing headphones as that helps dull my social anxiety.

“Though the tennis press has always been kind to me – and I want to apologise especially to all the cool journalists I may have hurt – I am not a natural public speaker.

“And get huge waves of anxiety before I speak to the world’s media.

“I get really nervous and find it stressful to always try to engage and give you the best answers I can.

“So here in Paris I was already feeling vulnerable and anxious so I thought it was better to exercise self-care and skip the press conferences.

“I announced it pre-emptively because I do feel like the rules are quite outdated in parts and I wanted to highlight that.

“I wrote privately to the tournament apologising and saying that I would be more than happy to speak with them after the tournament as the slams are intense.”

Osaka, who will now step away from action for a period of time, added that she wants to “work with the (WTA) Tour to discuss ways we can make things better for the players, press and fans”.

Naomi Osaka withdraws from French Open after threat to boot World No2 from tournament over media boycott


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