Tokyo 2020: Naomi Osaka says preparing for Olympics, will talk to media again but on my own term

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Naomi Osaka has said that she is preparing for Tokyo Olympics and will speak to the media again in the press conferences but only on her own term. Osaka has pulled out of several tournaments due to depression and anxiety.

Naomi Osaka in action (Courtesy: AFP)

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HIGHLIGHTS

  • Osaka pulled out of several tournaments citing her struggles with depression
  • 23-year-old Naomi Osaka is a four-time grand slam champion
  • I am preparing myself little by little for the Olympics, says Osaka

Tennis star Naomi Osaka on Monday said that she is preparing for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics and will take part in the press conferences. Osaka has pulled out of several tournaments citing her struggles with depression and anxiety.

“I am preparing myself little by little so I can be at the top of my games at the Olympics, “Naomi Osaka wrote in a message published by Japan’s national broadcaster NHK.

“Since getting the attention of the world, I have always had bouts of anxiety. This is especially the case in the leads up to big competition.”

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Earlier this year, the four-time Grand Slam champion Osaka had withdrawn from the French Open 2021 last month following her first round victory after organisers fined her $15,000 and threatened her with suspension from the Roland Garros when she refused to attend the mandatory post-match press conferences.

The 23-year-old also decided to pull out from the Wimbledon.

The International Tennis Federation has promised a comprehensive review on how players and media interact during tournaments, saying it takes mental health issues extremely seriously.

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In the message published by NHK, Osaka said she is proud to play for her country in the Olympics, adding that she will take part in the news conferences while giving consideration to her mental health.

Osaka is one of the best-known and most marketable players in the game, and in the past has used her position to call attention to issues of police violence and racial inequality.

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