Naomi Osaka says rising Covid-19 ranges in Tokyo are a “huge trigger for concern” and he or she is “probably not certain” the Olympics ought to go forward this summer season.
Tokyo is below a state of emergency amid a surge in circumstances, 10 weeks from the beginning of the rescheduled Video games on 23 July.
Japanese world quantity two Osaka could be making her Olympic debut in Tokyo.
“I am an athlete, and naturally my fast thought is that I wish to play within the Olympics,” she stated.
“However as a human, I’d say we’re in a pandemic, and if individuals aren’t wholesome, and if they are not feeling secure, then it is positively a extremely huge trigger for concern.”
When requested by BBC Sport if it might be acceptable to stage the Video games throughout a pandemic, the 23-year-old stated: “To be sincere, I am probably not certain.”
The Olympics will happen with out worldwide followers, whereas a choice on whether or not native followers can attend the Video games will likely be made in June.
“I’ve by no means performed an Olympic occasion, so it isn’t like I’d have something to check it to,” four-time Grand Slam champion Osaka stated.
“I’d really feel, after all, positively a bit unhappy, however on the finish of the day, it is an honour to play within the Olympics within the first place and if that is what retains individuals wholesome, then I am up for [playing behind closed doors].”
Japan’s top-ranked males’s participant Kei Nishikori, talking on the Italian Open, additionally stated he was involved concerning the Video games being staged.
“This isn’t like 100 individuals like [we have at] these tournaments,” he stated in Rome on Monday. “It is 10,000 individuals in an Olympic Village.
“I do not assume it is easy, particularly with what’s occurring proper now in Japan; it isn’t doing good.”
World quantity 45 Nishikori, who received bronze within the males’s singles at Rio 2016 Olympics, stated he’s cautious a few doable outbreak within the Village, a high-rise house complicated in downtown Tokyo.
“You may make a superb bubble and possibly you are able to do it,” he stated. “There’s some danger too. What occurs if there are 100 circumstances within the Village? Or it may be 1000’s.”
Williams undecided over Tokyo
In the meantime, 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams has raised doubts over her participation within the Tokyo Olympics.
Williams, who has received one singles and three doubles Olympic gold medals, is hesitant to spend time away from her three-year-old daughter, Olympia.
“I have never spent 24 hours with out her, in order that sort of solutions the query itself,” stated the American, 39.
“I have never actually thought a lot about Tokyo, as a result of it was imagined to be final yr and now it is this yr, after which there may be this pandemic and there may be a lot to consider.
“Then there are the Grand Slams. It is only a lot. So I’ve actually been taking it at some point at a time to a fault, and I positively want to determine my subsequent strikes.”
Williams, ranked eighth on the planet, is scheduled to play at this week’s Italian Open, her first event since shedding to eventual champion Osaka within the semi-finals of the Australian Open in February.