Former tennis star Caroline Wozniacki says she is ‘proud’ of the vocal stance Naomi Osaka has taken on the Black Lives Matter movement.
Osaka joined the widespread boycott by stars from various American sports at the Western & Southern Open tournament, held at the same site of the US Open, after the shooting of Jacob Blake by police in Kenosha.
She has been wearing masks bearing the name of a Black American aiming to highlight racial injustice in the United States to a wider audience during her run at Flushing Meadows.
Osaka was close to tears following her quarter-final victory after video messages from Trayvon Martin and Ahmaud Arbery’s parents thanked the fourth-seed for helping to raise awareness of the issue.
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Wozniacki, a former Australian Open champion, says she is delighted to see 22-year-old Osaka use the power of social media to draw worldwide awareness to the issue.
“I think it’s great. Naomi has been very vocal and I think it great that our sport is a part of it,” said the Dane, who was speaking to Sky Sports’ Check-In with Hannah Wilkes.
“I’m really proud of Naomi, she’s really putting herself out there and I think we’re at the point now where everybody should be equal. No matter what skin colour, no matter if you’re a man or a woman, so I’m very proud of the movement that the tennis world has taken.”
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Wozniacki also spoke about the moment Novak Djokovic was disqualified from the US Open for accidentally hitting a line judge in the throat with a tennis ball during his fourth-round match on Sunday.
It brought about a stunning end to the Serb’s 26-match winning streak in 2020 and bid for an 18th Grand Slam title.
“Obviously Novak didn’t mean to hit the lineswoman but he did and I think the rules are very straightforward,” she said. “Unfortunately there was no other choice to be made than to disqualify him. I think a lot of players are looking at that and learning from that and I feel bad for Novak but at the same time the rules are the rules and I’m glad the lineswoman is OK.
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