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Naomi Osaka withdraws from Wimbledon but will play at Tokyo Olympics

  • June 17, 2021

withdrawing from the French Open and opting out of a Wimbledon warmup tournament in Berlin. 

Wimbledon begins on June 28 and runs through July 11. The season’s third Grand Slam tournament ends less than two weeks prior to the opening ceremony of the Summer Games.

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As a native of Japan, Osaka became the face of the Tokyo Olympics when she was featured in one of the first promos last February, before the Games were rescheduled due to COVID-19.

Osaka made headlines in late May when she withdrew from the French Open after her refusal to participate in scheduled pre-tournament media availability created a rift between her and tournament officials.

Prior to her start in the tournament, Osaka announced that she would not participate in the mandatory press conferences due to “no regard for athletes mental health.” She won her first-round match against Romania’s Patricia Maria Tig, and despite speaking during a short on-court interview, she did not attend the postgame conference.

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She was fined $15,000 by the French Tennis Federation and risked additional fines and possible expulsion from the French Open if she missed more media opportunities. Osaka withdrew from the tournament altogether shortly after. On the Monday after her first-round win, she released a statement on social media explaining her reasoning for the withdraw.

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