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Naomi Osaka Withdraws From Second Tournament Due To Mental Illness
Mental Health

Naomi Osaka Withdraws From Second Tournament Due To Mental Illness

Naomi Osaka, the Japanese tennis star, has withdrawn from next week's German Open grass court tournament, just days after withdrawing from the French Open due to mental health issues.

“We have received notification that Naomi Osaka will not be able to begin in Berlin,” Berlin WTA organizers said in a statement ahead of the tournament. “She will take a break after consulting with her management.”

Osaka, the world's second-ranked tennis player, withdrew from the French Open in an Instagram post on May 31, a day after Grand Slam officials said she would be fined $15,000 for refusing to speak with reporters during the tournament.

The German Open, which begins on June 14, is a grass court tournament that serves as a pre-Wimbledon warmup.

The 23-year-old Japanese pro tennis player said in an Instagram post announcing her withdrawal from the French Open that it was “the best thing for the tournament, the other players, and my well-being” to withdraw.

“I never wanted to be a distraction, and I accept that my timing was not ideal and that my message could have been clearer,” Osaka wrote, adding, “More importantly, I would never trivialize or dismiss mental health.”

Nike, which has sponsored Osaka since 2019, issued a statement last week supporting her decision to prioritize her mental health over work.

Nike said in a statement, "Our thoughts are with Naomi; we support her and recognize her courage in sharing her own mental health experience."

Osaka, the highest-paid female athlete of all time, has not announced a return date to tournament play.

If you or someone you know needs assistance, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, or text HOME to 741-741 for free, 24-hour support from the Crisis Text Line. If you live outside of the United States, please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a resource database.

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