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Naomi Osaka will defend US ope...
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Naomi Osaka will defend US open title, organisers confirm

Ann-Marie Donelan
Ann-Marie Donelan

19:50 21 Jul 2021

Naomi Osaka will defend her US Open title next month, organisers have confirmed. 

World number two Osaka withdrew from this year's French Open and Wimbledon.

The 23-year-old cited mental health concerns when deciding not to participate at Roland Garros.

Part of Osaka's statement at the time of that decision read;

"I never wanted to be a distraction and I accept that my timing was not ideal and my message could have been clearer.

"More importantly I would never trivialise mental health or use the term lightly.

"The truth is that I have suffered long bouts of depression since the US Open in 2018 and I have had a really hard time coping with that.

"Anyone that knows me knows I'm introverted, and anyone that has seen me at the tournaments will notice that."

She was fined and threatened with disqualification after refusing to attend a mandatory post-match press conference after her first-round game, before pulling out.

Osaka is scheduled to play at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics and also in Montreal next month before Flushing Meadows.

A 100%-capacity crowd will be at the New York venue.

As well as Osaka, other members of the women's field will be world number one Ashleigh Barty, who recently won her second major title at Wimbledon and 2020 Australian Open champion and world number four Sofia Kenin.

The July 19 edition of the world rankings was used to determine 2021 US Open entry, with 100 of the world's Top 104 opting in.

In the men's section, former champions Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are included.

All three are currently tied for the men's record of 20 Grand Slam singles titles so history will be made should one of them take home silverware.

World number one Djokovic, fresh from his third major triumph of 2020 at Wimbledon, is aiming to become the first man since Australia's Rod Laver in 1969 to complete a calendar year sweep.

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