Naomi Osaka will miss another Grand Slam in this calendar year, according to a statement released through a spokesperson on Thursday. The 23-year-old tennis star will not be competing at Wimbledon, and is instead choosing to focus on getting ready to compete in Tokyo for the Olympics.
Here is the statement in full, per Sports Illustrated’s Jon Wetheim:
While Osaka did initially begin competing at the French Open this year, she eventually pulled out of the competition, citing concerns over her personal mental wellbeing. That spring boarded from her decision to not speak to the press — she cited her mental health in that announcement too — and the subsequent shaming that some tennis fans, and officials, sent her direction.
The latter came in the form of fines for skipping media obligations, and at least one tweet that had a thinly-veiled shot at Osaka for skipping press conferences.
Osaka, 23, will compete under Japan’s flag for the 2021 games.
She will compete alongside Kei Nishikori and Yoshihito Nishioka as the third tennis representative for Japan who qualified automatically based on their ATP and WTA singles rankings as of June 14. It will be Osaka’s Olympic debut. Though she has qualified for the games, Osaka has gone on record saying that people should be having the discussion of canceling the event “if it’s putting people at risk, and if it’s making people very uncomfortable.”
Osaka is not the only major tennis star that is missing Wimbledon. Rafael Nadal will also not be competing, citing a desire to “prolong” his career.