Naomi pulls out of Berlin event, question mark over Wimbledon


World No. 2 Naomi Osaka, who controversially exited the French Open tennis citing mental health issues, has also withdrawn from the Berlin WTA grass court tournament beginning June 14.

Tournament organisers said on Monday that Naomi, who had withdrawn exactly a week ago from Roland Garros, had informed them that she would not start in the Berlin tournament.

The Japanese, winner of three Grand Slam titles, has not made it clear when she would like to get back on court. With the Wimbledon set to commence on June 28 and the Tokyo Olympics beginning on July 23, the Berlin tournament would have been the ideal preparation for the grass-court major and the Olympics.

Naomi, 23, had withdrawn from the French Open last Monday over her stand to speak to the media due to her mental health.

Naomi had defeated Romania’s Patricia Maria Tig on May 30, but did not turn up to face the media. This prompted the organisers to fine her $15,000 and be warned that she faced expulsion from Grand Slam tournaments if she continued to do so.

On May 31, she posted a statement on Twitter, saying that she had “suffered long bouts of depression since the US Open in 2018” and that “it was better to exercise self-care and skip the press conferences” because she gets “huge waves of anxiety before”.

The world No. 2 headed home to Los Angeles after her French Open withdrawal.

Naomi has since written a message of thanks to her fans for the “love” she has received since withdrawing from the French Open.

In her first social media activity since then, the 23-year-old wrote in an Instagram story: “Just want to say thank you for all the love. Haven’t been on my phone much but I wanted to hop on here and tell you all that I really appreciate it.”

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