Two-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka says she is disappointed that the Olympics in her native Japan were postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, but she supports the decision to delay the Summer Games to 2021.
In a posting Saturday on social media, she said she’s “been thinking about how to articulate my thoughts on this for a couple of days now.”
The decision to push back the games from July and August 2020 until sometime next year was announced Tuesday.
Osaka wrote: “Sport will eventually unite us again and be there for us always, but that time is not now.”
She also addressed “the people of Japan,” where she was born, saying, “stay strong, hang in there and let’s show the world our beautiful country when the time is right.”
The 22-year-old Osaka figures to be one of the most-watched stars in Tokyo, given that she represents the host country and is a medal contender in tennis. She won the 2018 US Open and 2019 Australian Open and became the first player from Asia to reach No. 1 in the singles rankings.