After scoring a victory in the first round of Roland Garros, Naomi skipped the post-match press conference. She was quickly fined $ 15,000 and warned of the long-term consequences of breaking the rules. Then, in order to prioritize his mental health, the athlete completely chose not to participate in the French Open. She followed up on that decision by also withdrawing from the upcoming tournament in Berlin.
This news comes from a statement released Monday by the organizers of the Berlin event. They received a “notification” that Naomi “cannot start in Berlin”. Moreover, they revealed that the talented player will be taking “a break”. Naomi began to prioritize her mental health before the start of Roland Garros. She shared on social media her experiences with “huge waves of anxiety” during press conferences. Even after withdrawing from the tournament, Naomi remained gracious and apologizes for her decision.
“I never wanted to be a distraction, and I accept that my timing was not ideal and the message could have been clearer,” she said in a statement.
As of yet, there is no news on how Naomi’s hiatus will affect her participation in tournaments beyond Berlin. Wimbledon will start at the end of June. According to Forbes, the quadruple Grand Slam champion is also booked to compete in the Tokyo Summer Games. These games are scheduled to begin in July.
After her initial retirement, Naomi received heartwarming support from celebrities and athletes, including tennis champion Serena Williams.
“I wish I could give her a hug because I know what it is, like I said, I’ve been in these positions,” Serena said at a press conference. “Not everyone is the same. We have different personalities. I am thick. Other people are thin. Everyone is different and everyone handles things differently. You just have to let her handle things the way she wants and the best way that she thinks she can. That’s the only thing I can say: I think she’s doing her best.
Will Smith posted a handwritten note on Instagram to reassure Naomi that he is “with her”. NBA superstar Stephen Curry also tweeted that she had “great respect” for Naomi’s choice to take “the high road when the powers that be do not protect theirs.”
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