After pulling out of the French Open, Naomi Osaka has also withdrawn from Wimbledon. The Japanese-Haitian tennis champ is however planning on returning home to compete in the Tokyo Olympics.
In a statement issued via SportsCenter on Twitter, her representatives announced “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.” See below.
As tennis’ most promising rising star, the entire world was listening when Naomi shed light on the effects post-game interviews have on athletes, insisting she would not do any press during the French Open. When she stayed true to her word, she was fined $15,000 and threatened with suspension. Naomi’s response was to not participate in the rest of the competition at all, hinting in a tweet that she had not been met with understanding, but anger. In a separate message she also detailed her struggle with depression and anxiety due to media-related demands.
“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,” she wrote on Instagram. “Though the tennis press has always been kind to me (and I wanna apologize especially to all the cool journalists who 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.”
We fully support Naomi’s decisions, whatever they may be — we don’t need her to speak to the press when she’s about that action.