Naomi Osaka has pulled out of this year’s Wimbledon citing an Achilles injury,
The four-time Grand Slam champion announced her decision today (Saturday).
The former world number one has been dealing with the injury since Madrid which forced her to miss the WTA 1000 tournament in Rome in the leadup to the French Open where she lost in the first round.
Last week she posted a video on social media, saying: “Here’s me running on a underwater treadmill because my Achilles is being stubborn still (sic) I must be aging or something.”
She added on Saturday: “My Achilles still isn’t right so I’ll see you next time.”
Osaka had raised doubts about participating in this year’s grasscourt grand slam after her defeat at Roland Garros but she was in the field when it was announced.
Many tennis stars have thought about skipping the event with no ranking points on offer.
The men’s ATP and women’s WTA took away ranking points from the grasscourt Grand Slam after organizers the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) decided to ban participation by Russian and Belarusian players following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
Osaka had reasoned that playing in the major without the possibility of earning points would not help her ranking and the decision of the authorities had reduced her motivation to play.
Osaka, ranked 43rd in the world, was also absent from Wimbledon last year after taking time off for “personal reasons” — a month after quitting the French Open due to mental health issues.
With Naomi Osaka out from Wimbledon, the saving grace for the tournament seems to be the return of Serena Williams along with the possibility of world no.1 Iga Swiatek setting the record for the longest win streak in women’s tennis history.
Eugene Bouchard a former Wimbledon finalist has withdrawn from the 2022 Championships with no ranking points on offer as the Canadian former world number five plots her return to the tennis circuit following surgery last year.
“Due to my shoulder surgery, I get a limited number of protected ranking (PR) entries,” she said in a social media post on Friday.
“As much as I love Wimbledon and skipping it makes me sad, using a PR entry at a tournament with no ranking points doesn’t make sense. I must choose wisely and use my PR entries at tournaments that will help me get back to where I want to be.”