The statement read as follows:
Naomi will not be playing at Wimbledon this year… She is spending time with her friends and family. She will be ready for the Olympics and is excited to perform in front of her home fans.
The 23-year-old tennis superstar was born in Japan and will play for his country at the Tokyo Olympics this summer.
A message of support was then posted on the official Wimbledon Twitter account wishing him all the best and saying “Hope to welcome you again next year”.
Naomi Osaka thanks her supporters via Instagram for all the love following her withdrawal from the French Open
– Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) June 17, 2021
Osaka withdrew from Roland Garros after refusing to participate in post-match press conferences. In a post posted on social media, she cited social anxiety, media pressure and long periods of depression. The post reached out to athletes and celebrities, many of whom showed their support on their Instagram, including Kyrie Irving, Venus Williams, Coco Gauff, Lewis Hamilton, Olivia Munn, Michelle Wie, Skylar Diggins-Smith and Usain Bolt.
At last year’s US Open, Osaka wore seven different masks, one for each round of the annual tournament. The masks, which she began wearing at the start of the tournament on August 31, bore the names of Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, George Floyd, Philando Castle and Tamir Rice.
Asked by a reporter after this tournament what message she wanted to send with the names, Osaka replied, “Well, what the message you received was more the question. I feel like the point is to get people to start talking.
The news of Oskaka’s withdrawal comes after two-time Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal also announced he was withdrawing from the tournament as well as the Olympics, citing the short turnaround between Roland Garros and Wimbledon and the need to listen to his body in order to »extend my career.