Recovery And Mental Health Concerns As Stars Withdraw From Wimbledon
aomi Osaka and Rafael Nadal have both withdrawn from Wimbledon, with Nadal also withdrawing from the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
In a statement via her team, Osaka said she will be taking personal time with friends and family and will be ready to play the Olympics in front of her home fans.
This is the second withdrawal for Osaka following her withdrawal from the French Open citing mental health concerns.
Osaka struck controversy when she told French Open officials she wouldn’t be talking to the media and was fined $15,000 by the tennis tournament.
In a statement, the All England club, said: “Naomi Osaka will be greatly missed by all of us at Wimbledon this year, but we completely understand her decision.”
Nadal made the decision to withdraw from Wimbledon and the Olympics Games citing an effort to preserve his body.
Via Twitter, Nadal said: “It’s never an easy decision to take but after listening to my body and discussing with my team I understand that it is the right decision.”
“The goal is to prolong my career and continue to do what makes me happy, that is to compete at the highest level and keep fighting for those professional and personal goals at the maximum level of competition.
“The fact that there has only been 2 weeks between Roland Garros and Wimbledon, didn’t make it easier on my body to recuperate after the always demanding clay court season.
“Sport prevention of any kind of excess in my body is a very important factor at this stage of my career in order to try to keep fighting for the highest level of competition and titles,” he said.
While the English tournament has lost two star players, the tournament will be bolstered by the UK government announcing it will be the first outdoor sporting event to have a capacity crowd since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The tournament will start with a 50% capacity across the grounds and build towards the 2021 finals being played in front of a full crowd of 15,000
The decision has been met with criticism on social media due to the UK recording a 7-day average of 6,530 new COVID-19 cases as well as delays in easing of restrictions.
The tournament has not been played since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will start on June 28.
Elsewhere, the New York government has announced the U.S. Open will be allowed to have 100% spectator capacity with the tournament scheduled from August 30-September 12.
It will be the first Grand Slam tournament to have full attendance throughout since the 2020 Australian Open.