Osaka to skip Wimbledon but compete at Tokyo Olympics

Sports

LONDON (AP) — Naomi Osaka’s agent says the four-time Grand Slam champion will sit out Wimbledon and compete at the Tokyo Olympics.

Stuart Duguid wrote Thursday in an email that Osaka “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.”

Osaka, a 23-year-old who was born in Japan, withdrew from the French Open after the first round, saying she needed a mental health break.

The four-time major champion and No. 2-ranked player was fined $15,000 when she didn’t speak to reporters after her first-round victory at Roland Garros on Sunday. The next day, Osaka pulled out of the tournament entirely, saying she experiences “huge waves of anxiety” before meeting with the media and revealing she has “suffered long bouts of depression.”

Various tennis players, including sisters Serena and Venus Williams, offered support for Osaka.

Venus Williams, a 40-year-old who has won seven Grand Slam singles titles and another 14 in doubles with her younger sibling, said at a news conference after her first-round loss Tuesday at Roland Garros that she finds it “definitely not easy to do press, I think, for any person.”

Asked how she handled that over her professional career, Williams responded: “For me, personally, how I deal with it was that I know every single person asking me a question can’t play as well as I can and never will, so no matter what you say or what you write, you’ll never light a candle to me. So that’s how I deal with it. But each person deals with it differently.”

Others praised Osaka for being forthcoming about her personal story in her statement Monday on social media.

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