Naomi Osaka to miss Wimbledon with an Achilles injury; former world No 1 had previously said she was unsure she would play in the tournament after it had ranking points removed following decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players; Wimbledon runs from June 27 to July 10
Four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from Wimbledon due to an Achilles injury.
Osaka, 24, has been struggling with the injury that she picked up in Madrid last month and will now miss the grass-court major once again.
The former world No 1 opted out of Wimbledon last year for mental health reasons, while the 2020 edition was shelved due to the coronavirus pandemic.
my Achilles still isn’t right so I’ll see you next time 🌱👋🏾 pic.twitter.com/mryWdKnitN— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) June 18, 2022
The 24-year-old Japanese player has not played since a first-round exit at the French Open and had already said her Wimbledon participation was in doubt due to the tournament’s lack of ranking points in 2022.
The ATP and WTA made that call after Wimbledon chose to ban Russian and Belarusian players from participating due to the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
She had since posted footage of herself on social media undergoing rehab on her injury, and on Saturday wrote: “My Achilles still isn’t right so I’ll see you next time.”
Adding a wave and a grass emoji, she continued: “After the storm comes the calm. This is a saying that I’m actively trying to master.
“I feel like life keeps dealing cards and you’re never gonna be used to them but it’s how you adapt to uncomfortable situations that really says stuff about your character. I’ve been repeating mantras in my head a lot recently.
“I don’t know if it’s to subconsciously help myself through stressful times or to ease my mind into realising that everything will work out fine as long as I put the work in. Cause what more can you do?”
Osaka, who has never made it past the third round at Wimbledon, has not played since being knocked out in the first round of the French Open by Amanda Anisimova.
Eugenie Bouchard has also pulled out of Wimbledon, citing the lack of ranking points.
Bouchard has tumbled down the rankings following shoulder surgery but was allowed to enter Wimbledon under her protected ranking.
The 2014 runner-up said in a statement: “As much as I love Wimbledon, and skipping it makes me sad, using a PR [priority ranking] 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. I will now use my two Grand Slam PR entries for the US Open and Australian Open.”
Wimbledon 2022 pic.twitter.com/I4MMGPkfvv— Genie Bouchard (@geniebouchard) June 17, 2022
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Leylah Fernandez, who lost the US Open final to Britain’s Emma Raducanu, will also miss Wimbledon with a foot injury, while former Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin is also out due to an ankle problem.
Men’s world No 2 Alexander Zverev is also out as he continues his recovery from surgery on torn ankle ligaments following his fall in the French Open semi-final against Rafael Nadal.
The German will not have the chance to improve on fourth-round appearances in 2017 and 2021 at the All England Club.
Former world No 3 Dominic Thiem will also be absent after nine months out with a wrist injury.