Just a week after pulling out of the French Open due to mental health reasons, Naomi Osaka has pulled out of a second tournament.
“We have received notification Naomi Osaka cannot start in Berlin,” Berlin WTA organizers told Reuters in a statement ahead of the tournament. “After consulting her management, she will take a break.
Osaka, the world’s second-ranked tennis player, announced her withdrawal from the French Open in an Instagram post on May 31, a day after Grand Slam officials stated they would fine her $15,000 for refusing to speak with reporters during the tournament.
The German Open, set to begin June 14, is a grass court tournament that serves as a warmup event for Wimbledon.
In her Instagram post announcing her withdrawal from the French Open, the 23-year-old Japanese pro tennis player said dropping out was “the best thing for the tournament, the other players and my well-being.”
“I never wanted to be a distraction and I accept that my timing was not ideal and my message could have been clearer,” Osaka wrote. “More importantly I would never trivialize mental health or use the term lightly.”
Fans and other athletes have come out in support of Osaka’s decision to prioritize her mental health over work. Nike, which has had a sponsorship deal with Osaka since 2019, issued a statement last week backing her.
“Our thoughts are with Naomi,” Nike said in the statement. “We support her and recognize her courage in sharing her own mental health experience.”
Osaka, the highest paid female athlete of all time, hasn’t announced when she will resume tournament play.
We support Naomi.