W&S Open paused for a day to protest racial injustice

After fourth-seeded Naomi Osaka withdrew from the W&S Open in a call for racial justice, the whole tournament was put on hold for a day.

Naomi Osaka reached the semifinals of the Western & Southern Open on Wednesday and withdrew a few hours later in a call for racial justice. (File Photo)   -  REUTERS

No play will be held on Thursday to take "a stance against racial inequality and social injustice," the Western and Southern Open tournament said. 

In a statement, the association said: "As a sport, tennis is collectively taking a stance against racial inequality and social injustice that once again has been thrust to the forefront in the United States.

"The USTA, ATP Tour, and WTA have decided to recognise this moment in time by pausing tournament play at the Western & Southern Open on Thursday, August 27. Play will resume on Friday, August 28," it added.

Fourth-seeded Naomi Osaka reached the semifinals of the Western & Southern Open on Wednesday and withdrew a few hours later in a call for racial justice, drawing quick support from other players.

Osaka, the Japanese star and last Top 10 seed in the women’s bracket, joined professional athletes in basketball, baseball and soccer in demanding change after Jacob Blake was shot by police.

After reaching the semifinals late on Wednesday, Milos Raonic said the ATP and WTA should consider a joint action that goes beyond a small group of players.

"I think real disruption, that’s what makes change, and I think a lot of real disruption is caused by affecting people in a monetary way and can force some kind of change,” he said.

“I’m hoping at least we on the men’s tour as well as the women’s, we band together and we show support.”

 

Inputs from AP

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