Tennis superstar Naomi Osaka has reversed course -- and WILL resume playing a major tournament on Friday after initially opting out in the wake of the Jacob Blake shooting.
Earlier this week, the 22-year-old champ announced she would no longer participate in the Western & Southern Open semi-finals match, scheduled for Thursday.
At the time, Osaka explained ... "Before I am an athlete, I am a black woman. And, as a black woman, I feel as though there are much more important matters at hand that need immediate attention, rather than watching me play tennis."
"I don't expect anything drastic to happen with me not playing, but if I can get a conversation started in a majority white sport I consider that a step in the right direction."
After her statement, Osaka says she spoke with reps for the WTA and USTA -- and has decided to resume playing,
"As you know, I pulled out of the tournament yesterday in support of racial injustice and continued police violence," Osaka said in a statement Thursday.
"I was (and am) ready and prepared to concede the match to my opponent. However, after my announcement and lengthy consultation with the WTA and USTA, I have agreed at their request to play on Friday."
"They offered to postpone all matches until Friday and in my mind that brings more attention to the movement."
Osaka will now face Elise Mertens in the semifinals. And, everyone knows there will be tons of eyeballs on this one.