Tennis: Naomi Osaka pulls out of Berlin tournament, organisers confirm

BERLIN: Naomi Osaka has pulled out of next week’s Berlin WTA grass court tournament in the wake of her controversial exit from the French Open, organisers confirmed on Monday (Jun 7).

“We have received notification that Naomi Osaka cannot start in Berlin. After consulting her management, she will take a break,” said a spokesman for the Berlin tournament, which starts on Jun 14.

Osaka has not said when she plans to play next, casting doubt on her participation at Wimbledon, which starts on Jun 28, and the Tokyo Olympics.

The 23-year-old four-time Grand Slam winner has been in the spotlight since withdrawing from Roland Garros after a dispute over her refusal to attend press conferences.

As a result, French tennis officials fined Osaka US$15,000 and threatened to axe her from the tournament for not honouring mandatory media commitments, prompting the Japanese star to withdraw.

On Saturday, Osaka, who revealed her ongoing battle with depression and anxiety which she said having to face the media exacerbated, thanked her supporters in a brief message on Instagram.

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