Just weeks after pulling out of the French Open to focus on her mental health, Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from the Berlin WTA 5000 tournament — a tune-up for Wimbledon. The grass tournament starts on June 14, which is exactly two weeks before Wimbledon gets underway on June 28.
“We have received notification Naomi Osaka cannot start in Berlin. After consulting her management, she will take a break,” Berlin event organizers said in a statement.
As of now, Osaka, 23, is set to participate in Wimbledon.
Following her decision to pull out of the French Open, Osaka released a statement explaining that she will be focusing on her mental health.
“I think now the best thing for the tournament, the other players and my well-being is that I withdraw so that everyone can get back to focusing on the tennis going on in Paris,” Osaka said in the statement. “I never wanted to be a distraction and I accept that my timing was not ideal and my message could have been clearer.
“More importantly I would never trivialize mental health or use the term lightly. The truth is that I have suffered long bouts of depression since the US Open in 2018 and I have had a really hard time coping with that.”
Prior to the French Open, Osaka announced that she would be skipping post-match press conferences in order to protect her mental well-being. After her first-round match win over Patricia Maria Tig, she did just that and received a $15,000 fine for not participating in a mandatory post-match press conference. That led to her pulling out of the event altogether.
This story was originally published by CBS Sports on June 7, 2021 at 1:29 p.m. ET.
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