Cincinnati Masters suspended as Osaka withdraws over kenosha shooting

Game was suspended for a day at the Cincinnati Masters to “take a stand against racial inequality and social injustice” after Naomi Osaka withdrew from the event.

The tournament organizers canceled the process on Thursday. The semi-finals for women and men are planned.

The decision came shortly after the Japanese Osaka withdrew from the competition in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Video surfaced on social media of Blake, an unarmed black man who was shot multiple times in the back by police.

In a statement on Twitter, Osaka said: “Before I was an athlete, I was a black woman.

“And as a black woman, I feel like there are far more important things that require immediate attention than watching me play tennis.

“I don’t expect anything drastic to happen if I’m not playing, but if I can start a conversation in a mostly white sport, I think that’s a step in the right direction.

“To be honest, watching the ongoing genocide of black people by the police make me sick.”

This was followed by a joint statement from the United States Tennis Association (USTA), the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) and the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), which read: “As a sport, tennis takes a united stand against the racial inequality and social injustice that exist in the United States was brought to the fore again.

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

“The game will resume on Friday, August 28th.”

It is unclear whether Osaka will play their semi-finals on Friday after beating Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 in the quarter-finals.

The former world number meets the Belgian Elise Mertens, who defeated the American Jessica Pegula 6: 3 and 6: 1.

On the other side of the draw, British number one Johanna Konta will face Belarusian Victoria Azarenka in the semi-finals.

Konta defeated the Greek Maria Sakkari, the conqueror of Serena Williams in the last 16, 6-4, 6-3, while Azarenka defeated the Tunisian Ons Jabeur 7-6 (9-7), 6-2.

Novak Djokovic, the number 1 in the world, continued his impressive form before the upcoming US Open with a 6: 3, 6: 1 against the German Jan-Lennard Struff in the quarter-finals.

The Serbian win extends his unbeaten run to 21 games this season as he faces a record 35 Masters 1,000 title.

“I’ve never looked back since I took that break at the beginning of the first set,” said Djokovic.

“I played really aggressively whenever I got the chance and fired my shots.”

Djokovic has prepared a semi-final with the Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut, who celebrated a comeback triumph against the Russian Daniil Medvedev and won with 1: 6, 6: 4, 6: 3.

The Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas rose to the last four places after Reilly Opelka retired injured.

The American led 6-5 in the first set.

Tsitsipas will now face the Canadian Milos Raonic, who booked his place in the semifinals with a 4: 6, 7: 6 (7: 2), 7: 5 win against the Serbian Filip Krajinovic.

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