With the sports in the U.S. taking a stand today against police violence, Naomi Osaka got tennis involved tonight announcing that she will not be playing Thursday in the semifinals against Elise Mertens in New York.
Osaka posted this message on social media:
“Hello, as many of you are aware I was scheduled to play my semifinals match tomorrow. However, before I am an athlete, I am a black woman. And as a black woman I feel as though there are much more important matters at hand that need attention, rather than watching me play tennis.
“I don’t expect anything drastic to happen with me not playing, but if I can get a conversation started in a majority white sport I consider that a step in the right direction. Watching the continued genocide of Black people at the hand of the police is honestly making me sick to my stomach.
“I’m exhausted of having a new hashtag pop up every few days and I’m extremely tired of having this same conversation over and over again. When will it ever be enough?”
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) August 27, 2020
Osaka was scheduled to face Elise Mertens in the Thursday semifinals of the Cincinnati Masters. Osaka had rallied from a set and a break down to beat Anett Kontaveit 4-6, 6-2, 7-5.
The Belgian Mertens ended the run of American qualifier Jessica Pegula 6-1, 6-3.
The other semifinal pits 2013 champion Victoria Azarenka against Brit Johanna Konta.
And now the event had postponed all matches for Thursday, including the men’s semifinals. The semifinals will resume Friday with finals perhaps Saturday. Will Osaka be playing? Unclear.
“As a sport, tennis is collectively taking a stance against racial inequality and social injustice that once again has been thrust to the forefront in the United States. The USTA, ATP Tour, and WTA have decided to recognize this moment in time by pausing tournament play at the Western & Southern Open on Thursday, August 27. Play will resume on Friday, August 28,” a statement read.
— Western & Southern Open (@CincyTennis) August 27, 2020
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