Naomi Osaka won’t hit the grass at Wimbledon this year.
The tennis star was recently criticized for his decision not to attend the mandatory press conferences at Roland Garros, having ultimately withdrawn from the tournament after winning his first round match. Citing her mental health issues, Osaka said she needed time off from competition.
Osaka will still be away from the pitch with the next Wimbledon tournament, which kicks off on June 28.
Osaka, who won a major earlier in the year at the Australian Open, has been open about her anxiety and mental health issues, although her statement does not mention this as a reason to walk away .
Why did Naomi Osaka withdraw from Wimbledon?
On June 17, Osaka officials announced that she would not be competing at Wimbledon 2021 because she takes “personal time” to spend with friends and family.
“Naomi will not be playing at Wimbledon this year. She is spending time with her friends and family,” according to a statement from the Osaka team. “She will be ready for the Olympics and is excited to play in front of her home fans.”
Osaka’s advocacy for athlete mental health has come to the fore since his retirement from Roland Garros, but his statement simply says “personal time” is his reason for not participating in the tournament.
The second half of the statement explains that Osaka plans to compete in the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo, its home country.
The 23-year-old has won four Grand Slam titles, winning the US Open twice and the Australian Open twice. She is currently ranked No. 2 in the world.