Naomi Osaka to skip Wimbledon

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Japanese star targets gold at Tokyo Games.

Japanese star Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from Wimbledon, her agent confirmed on Thursday, weeks after the World No. 2 pulled out of the French Open citing her struggle with depression and anxiety.

“Naomi won’t be playing Wimbledon this year,” Osaka’s agent Stuart Duguid said in an email to AFP. “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.”

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Osaka has been in the spotlight since withdrawing from the French Open.

She was fined $15,000 and threatened with disqualification from Roland Garros after she refused to honour mandatory media commitments.

Osaka lost in the third round of Wimbledon in 2017 and 2018 and bowed out in the first round in 2019. Last year’s tournament was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Wimbledon is the second tournament Osaka has withdrawn from since abandoning her French Open campaign after one match. She also withdrew from a WTA tournament in Berlin.

The Japanese star is expected to be one of the faces of the Tokyo Olympics, where she will be targeting a gold medal for the hosts.

Earlier, two-time Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal had announced he would be skipping this year’s tournament as well as the Olympics in order “to prolong my career”.

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Thiem no to Olympics

Meanwhile, US Open champion Dominic Thiem joined Nadal in withdrawing from the Tokyo Olympics.

World No. 5 Thiem said he wanted to concentrate on Wimbledon and then defend his only Grand Slam title in New York.

“Hi everybody, I have some sad news to share with you all. After talking with my team and analysing the situation I have taken the very difficult decision to withdraw from competing in the Tokyo Olympics,” the 27-year-old Austrian wrote on Twitter.

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