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World No. 2 Naomi Osaka withdraws from Wimbledon, aims for Olympics

Naomi Osaka from Japan, shown March 29, 2021, withdrew from the French Open in late May after declining to participate in mandatory media appearances. File Photo by Gary I Rothstein/UPI
Naomi Osaka from Japan, shown March 29, 2021, withdrew from the French Open in late May after declining to participate in mandatory media appearances. File Photo by Gary I Rothstein/UPI | License Photo

June 17 (UPI) -- Naomi Osaka, the second-ranked women's player in the world, has withdrawn from the Wimbledon tennis tournament, according to a statement released by her agent Thursday.

"Naomi won't be playing Wimbledon this year," the statement read. "She is taking some personal time with friends and family. She will be ready for the Olympics and is excited to play in front of her home fans."

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Wimbledon officials had been in contact with Osaka regarding the tournament's media operations this year, All England Club chief executive Sally Bolton said Thursday. In the end, Osaka opted to turn her attention to the Tokyo Olympics, which begin in late July.

The news comes on the heels of Osaka's withdrawal from the French Open at the end of last month. The 23-year-old star exited the tournament before the second round in the wake of controversy caused by her choice to skip mandatory media appearances at the event.

Osaka later revealed she had been battling anxiety and depression since her victory at the 2018 U.S. Open -- the first of her four Grand Slam titles.

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Earlier this week, Osaka pulled out of next week's Berlin WTA 5000 grass-court tournament, raising doubts about her attendance at Wimbledon, which is set to begin June 28.

Osaka's withdrawal from Wimbledon comes after Rafael Nadal, a two-time winner of the event, announced he was pulling out from the tournament and this summer's Olympics to preserve his health.

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