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ATP-WTA Western and Southern Open Halted Over Shooting Protests: Organizers

Naomi Osaka (Photo Credit: AP)

Naomi Osaka (Photo Credit: AP)

Just hours after Naomi Osaka withdrew from her scheduled semi-final, Western and Southern Open organizers postponed all games.

Organizers of the ATP/WTA Western & Southern Open in New York said Wednesday the tournament will be suspended until Friday following sporting boycotts sparked by the police shooting of a black man in Wisconsin.

In a statement that came just hours after star singles player Naomi Osaka withdrew from her scheduled semi-final, organizers said all games set for Thursday would be postponed.

"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 statement said.

"The USTA, ATP Tour, and WTA have decided to recognize this moment in time by pausing tournament play at the Western & Southern Open on Thursday, August 27.

"Play will resume on Friday, August 28."

Osaka had announced her withdrawal earlier Wednesday in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Sunday.

The 29-year-old was shot point blank seven times in the back by a white police officer, sparking violent unrest in the city that has left two people dead.

The NBA's Milwaukee Bucks boycotted their playoff game against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday, forcing the league to postpone its slate of postseason fixtures.

The Bucks protest was followed by similar player-led boycotts in other sports, with baseball and soccer seeing several games postponed.

first published:August 27, 2020, 09:16 IST