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Naomi Osaka will skip Wimbledon but play at Tokyo Olympics

Osaka, a 23-year-old who was born in Japan, withdrew from the French Open after the first round, saying she needed a mental health break.

Naomi Osaka will skip Wimbledon this year, but plans to compete at the Tokyo Olympics.
Naomi Osaka will skip Wimbledon this year, but plans to compete at the Tokyo Olympics.
Lynne Sladky/AP

LONDON — Naomi Osaka’s agent says the four-time Grand Slam champion will sit out Wimbledon and compete at the Tokyo Olympics.

Stuart Duguid wrote Thursday in an email that Osaka “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.”

Osaka, a 23-year-old who was born in Japan, withdrew from the French Open after the first round, saying she needed a mental health break.

Osaka has been ranked No. 1 and is currently No. 2; she is the highest-earning female athlete and was the 2020 AP Female Athlete of the Year. She is 14-3 this season, including a title at the Australian Open in February.

Last month, Osaka was fined $15,000 when she didn’t speak to reporters after her first-round victory at the French Open. The next day, Osaka pulled out of the tournament entirely, saying she experiences “huge waves of anxiety” before meeting with the media and revealing she has “suffered long bouts of depression.”

In a statement posted on Twitter at the time, she said she would “take some time away from the court now, but when the time is right I really want to work with the Tour to discuss ways we can make things better for the players, press and fans.”

Osaka has played at Wimbledon three times, twice exiting in the third round and losing in the first round in 2019.

Wimbledon, which was called off in 2020 for the first time since World War II because of COVID-19 concerns, begins main-draw play on June 28. The Olympic tennis competition opens on July 24.