Naomi Osaka has confirmed her participation at next month’s Montreal Open.
It will mark her first tournament back since withdrawing from the French Open with mental health issues.
The world no. 2 is the odds on favorite to win the U.S. Open Tennis tournament which starts at the end of this month.
Organizers of the Montreal Open announced on Wednesday that four-time grand slam winner Naomi Osaka will compete in the tournament next month.
Osaka is Japan’s best bet to win a gold medal at the upcoming Olympics. But while Osaka will make her return to competitive tennis in Tokyo, the Montreal Open will mark her first WTA event since withdrawing from the French Open due to mental health reasons. The world no. 2 also skipped Wimbledon to focus on her mental health.
Said Montreal tournament director Eugene Lapierre in a news release:
“We are delighted to welcome the likes of Ashleigh Barty, Naomi Osaka and Aryna Sabalenka, as well as Bianca Andreescu, who we know will get a reception for the ages from our passionate fans in Montreal.”
Withdrawing From French Open
Naomi Osaka announces she’s withdrawing from the French Open: “I never wanted to be a distraction” pic.twitter.com/de0RdETvVx
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 31, 2021
Osaka shocked the world when she withdrew from the 2021 French Open at Roland Garros citing mental health issues.
She was supposed to play her second round match against Ana Bogdan when she pulled out of the tournament. Osaka had just been penalized $15,000 for skipping her post-match press conference in the first round of the tournament and had announced she would not be attending any press conference due to mental health issues.
In addition to the fine, Osaka drew a surprise warning from all four Grand Slam tournaments that she could face stiffer penalties, including disqualification or even suspension, if she continued to avoid media.
Best of the Best Coming to Montreal
Gety hyped: the best of the best of the @WTA will be coming to Montreal this year. 🤩
Check out the player entry list and make sure to save your seat at the IGA Stadium for the tournament now! ⬇️https://t.co/hBGDQOoGaG
— Omnium Banque Nationale (@OBNmontreal) July 14, 2021
Known as the National Bank Open, the tournament will be held from August 9-15 at the IGA Stadium in Montreal and is considered a tune-up for the U.S. Open Tennis grand slam tournament scheduled to begin at the end of this month. Candadian Bianca Andreescu won the tournament in 2019 and is the defending champion since this event was cancelled last year due to the pandemic.
With Osaka confirming her participation, the Montreal Open’s star-studded field will now include 18 out of the Top 20 tennis players from the WTA. The list includes world no. 1 Ashleigh Barty, no. 3 Aryna Sabalenka, Bianca Andeescu, and former tournament winner Elina Svitolina.
Osaka is the odds on favorite to win the U.S. Open at +400 via the BetOnline App. Barty is second in the latest odds board at +800 while Andreescu is third at +900. Osaka is the defending U.S. Open champion and she has won two out of the last three editions of the year’s final Grand Slam tournament.