Naomi Osaka’s pullout from next week’s Berlin grass tournament has cast serious doubt on her intentions for Wimbledon.
The new German event which begins Monday will serve as a grass tuneup for the Grand Slam. But Osaka pulled the plug in a message to organisers.
The world No. 2 is fresh from an emotional withdrawal before her second round at the French Open, with the fragile Japanese saying it would disturb her “mental health” to be forced to speak with media as is required of payers.
That drew a $US 20,000 fine from tennis bosses, with the player then retreating into seclusion at her Beverly Hills mansion in LA.
Berlin organisers said this week they received word from Osaka’s camp that she would not compete.
“The only thing we know is that we have spoken with her agent and he told us that she was going to take a break,” they said.
With Wimbledon starting two weeks from Monday, the presence of sport’s most highly-paid woman remains unknown.