Fri, 30 Jul 2021

All England Club consulting Naomi Osaka on media sessions

Field Level Media
18 Jun 2021, 00:40 GMT+10

Naomi Osaka has been consulted by Wimbledon officials about media operations, All England Club chief executive Sally Bolton said Thursday.

Osaka, the No. 2-ranked player in the WTA, bowed out of the French Open before the second round and directly cited challenging media sessions as the reason she wouldn't play. The 23-year-old was fined for her decision to skip mandatory postmatch news conferences at the tournament.

Osaka said she deals with anxiety and depression and has struggled to address it since 2018.

"We have spoken to her (Osaka's) team in the last few weeks," Bolton said in an interview with BBC. "So yes, we're certainly remaining engaged with Naomi's team, as we are with all players.

"We have started a consultation. Of course, that consultation needs to include not just the players, but the media and all of those engaged in that space."

Osaka has not committed to playing at Wimbledon after withdrawing from next week's event in Berlin.

Wimbledon is set to begin June 28 and officials are planning to keep dialogue open with Osaka, Bolton said.

Jamie Baker, who serves as tournament director of Wimbledon, said he informed Osaka that the All England Club remains "completely open for any discussions" in an apparent effort to entice Osaka to participate.

Osaka has won the Australian Open and the U.S. Open two times each. She never has advanced past the third round at Wimbledon.

--Field Level Media

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