Tennis superstar Naomi Osaka is skipping this year’s Wimbledon but will return to the sport at thelater this summer, her agent said in a statement Thursday.
“Naomi won’t be playing Wimbledon this year. She is taking some personal time with friends and family,” her agent Stuart Duguid said. “She will be ready for the Olympics and is excited to play in front of her home fans.”
Wimbledon’s organizer, the All England Lawn Tennis Club, said Osaka would be “greatly missed” and wished her the best at home and at this summer’s Olympics. The news follows Rafael Nadal’s to with from both Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics.
Osaka, 23, is the No. 2 ranked player in the world. Last month, shefrom the French Open, revealing she struggled with anxiety and depression from media attention. The day before, she was fined $15,000 for failing to speak with reporters following her first-round victory over Patricia Maria Țig.
“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,” she wrote at the time.
Osaka received widespread support from the sports world and leaders from all four Grand Slam tournamentsto make “meaningful” changes to improve “the player experience at our tournaments, including as it relates to media.”
Osaka will be making her Olympics debut when the global tennis tournament kicks off on July 24. In 2019, Osaka renounced her U.S. citizenship so she could represent Japan, her birth country, in the games.
“It’s definitely going to be very special,” the four-time Grand Slam champion said at the time. “I think there’s no other place that I’d rather play my first Olympics. I think that will be one of the most memorable things that ever happens to me.”