World No.2 Naomi Osaka has confirmed that she won’t be competing at Wimbledon this year. The decision was on expected lines after the Japanese star withdrew from the French Open three weeks back before her second round match citing ‘mental health’.
But the good news for her fans is that she has confirmed her participation at the Tokyo Olympics. A statement from her team 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.”
Osaka’s decision didn’t come as a surprise as many expected her to take a long break after withdrawing from the French Open. Grass as never been her favorite surface and it wasn’t expected that she would head into Wimbledon without playing any build up tournaments.
Osaka had issued a statement before Roland Garros that she won’t be doing any press conferences due to various reasons. She was then subjected to a lot of backlash from players and fans all around the world. And hence she decided to withdraw and said in her letter that she has been depressed since 2018.
Naomi Osaka will be back on court at the Tokyo Olympics
Osaka is all set to represent Japan for the first time at the Olympics. And she will receive a lot of home support too. Due to the recent turn of events, her participation was under doubts but she has now confirmed that she will be back in Tokyo.
She will also go in as one of the huge favorites to win the Gold medal as the matches will be played on hard courts. Osaka,23, has proved her mettle time and again on the hard courts, winning the last 2 hard court slams- the 2020 US Open and the 2021 Australian Open.
She is also aiming to become the first female to win Japan a medal in tennis. Only 3 men, Ichiya Kumagae(two silvers in 1920 Antwerp), Seiichiro Kashio(a silver in 1920 Antwerp) and Kei Nishikori(a bronze in 2016 Rio) have won medals for Japan in Olympics. Osaka could create history by becoming the first Japanese to win an Olympic gold in tennis.