Naomi Osaka has decided to play her semi-final at the Western & Southern Open in New York after previously saying she would withdraw from the match to protest against racial injustice, The Guardian newspaper reported on Thursday.
The 22-year-old Japanese was originally scheduled to play her semi-final on Thursday but tournament organizers decided to postpone all the last-four matches to Friday.
“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.
“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.”
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) August 25, 2020
Osaka joined similar protests by athletes in the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball following the police shooting of a Black man in Wisconsin on Sunday.
Osaka, a two-time Grand Slam champion, will play Belgian Elise Mertens in the final tune-up event ahead of the August 31-September 13 US Open.