After making a stand not to play the semifinal yesterday, Naomi Osaka has agreed to play her postponed semifinal tomorrow against Elise Mertens.
The former No. 1 said she made the decision after speaking to tour officials.
“As you know, I pulled out of the tournament yesterday in support of racial injustice and continued police violence. I was (and am) ready and prepared to concede the match to my opponent,” Osaka said in a statement.
“However, after my announcement and lengthy consultation with the WTA and USTA, I have agreed at their request to play on Friday. They offered to postpone all matches until Friday and in my mind that brings more attention to the movement. I want to thank the WTA and the Tournament for their support.”
After Osaka’s stunning announcement, as a show of solidarity toward social injustice, the tournament postponed all four semifinals that were scheduled for Thursday.
They will now go forward on Friday with both men’s semifinals played at 1pm on Louis Armstrong and the women’s start at 11am on Grandstand and Court 17.
With an early Saturday final, the women were moved to 11am to mitigate any potential weather problems which are expected tomorrow and avoid any fairness issues should one be allowed to play on Armstrong and not the other. The finals are expected to be on Armstrong on Saturday.
FRIDAY CINCINNATI SCHEDULE
COURT: LOUIS ARMSTRONG
Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) vs. Milos Raonic (CAN)
Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs. Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP)
Elise Mertens (BEL) vs. Naomi Osaka (JPN)
COURT: COURT 10
Johanna Konta (GBR) vs. Victoria Azarenka (BLR)
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