Naomi Osaka has pulled out of a second tournament just a week after pulling out of the French Open due to mental health reasons.
The Japanese tennis star withdrew from next week’s Berlin WTA 5000 grass-court tournament, an event that begins on June 14 that she was expected to compete in as a warm-up prior to Wimbledon.
“We have received notification Naomi Osaka cannot start in Berlin. After consulting her management, she will take a break,” Berlin event organizers said in a statement.
Last week, Osaka announced her decision to drop out of the French Open after organizers threatened to expel her from the tournament for refusing to speak to the media and hit her with a $15,000 fine.
“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. I never wanted to be a distraction and I accept that my timing was not ideal and my message could have been clearer,” she previously wrote on Instagram.
Over the weekend, Osaka spoke for the first time since her withdrawal with a short statement expressing gratitude for the support she has received from her fans. “Just want to thank you for all the love,” she wrote on her Instagram story. “Haven’t been on my phone much, but I wanted to hop on here and tell you all that I really appreciate it.”
Last week, REVOLT reported that Calm, the meditation and sleep app, offered to cover the fines for any tennis player who opted out of media interviews due to mental health reasons. “To support Naomi Osaka’s decision to prioritize her mental health, Calm is donating $15,000 to @LaureusSport in France, an organization doing incredible work in the mental health space to transform the lives of young people through the power of sport.”
“But this is bigger than any individual player,” the meditation app continued. “Calm will also pay the fine for players opting out of 2021 Grand Slam media appearances for mental health reasons, and we will match the fine with a $15,000 donation to @LaureusSport. #MentalHealthIsHealth.”