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Osaka reverses decision to pull out of Western & Southern Open semi-final

Naomi Osaka - cropped
Naomi Osaka in action at the Western & Southern Open
Modified 27 Aug 2020, 22:28 IST

Naomi Osaka will take part in the Western & Southern Open semi-finals after reversing her decision to withdraw from the tournament in protest against racial injustice and police brutality.

The two-time grand slam champion announced on Wednesday she would not face Elise Mertens amid nationwide protests in the United States over the shooting of Jacob Blake.

Blake was shot in the back several times by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin and the incident has prompted strikes in major sporting leagues in the USA.

Former world number one Osaka said in a statement on Twitter she was withdrawing from the tournament in New York to "get a conversation started in a majority white sport".

However, the final-four clash with Mertens will now go ahead a day later than planned after event organisers agreed to suspend all of Thursday's matches.

"As you know, I pulled out of the tournament yesterday in support of racial injustice and continued police violence," she said in a statement provided to The Guardian.

"I was (and am) ready and prepared to concede the match to my opponent.


"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."

Meanwhile, talks are ongoing to resume the NBA playoffs after Wednesday's matches were called off, while MLB and MLS games were also been suspended.

Published 27 Aug 2020, 22:28 IST
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