Naomi Osaka has officially withdrawn from Wimbledon after expressing doubt last month about playing in the tournament because of the lack of ranking points.
Although she said ranking points would be a factor in her decision, they weren’t the primary factor; Osaka is still recovering from a left Achilles injury.
Osaka announced the news via Twitter on Saturday:
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
Though she didn’t mention points in her explanation, Osaka has had strong words about Wimbledon not being able to award ranking points because of its ban on Russian and Belarusian players.
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“I’m not sure why, but I feel like if I play Wimbledon without points, it’s more like an exhibition,” she said. “I know this isn’t true, right? But my brain just like feels that way. Whenever I think like something is like an exhibition, I just can’t go at it 100 percent.”
When did Naomi Osaka play last?
Osaka boasts a 57-17 record in Grand Slam matches, but she hasn’t played since a 7-5, 6-3 first-round loss to Amanda Anisimova in the French Open on May 23.
Osaka hasn’t made a Grand Slam final since winning the 2021 Australian Open. This will be the second year in a row she misses Wimbledon. Osaka took a mental health break after the 2021 French Open that extended through The Championships.
How did Naomi Osaka injure herself?
Osaka has complained of tendinitis in her Achilles, which she said has been hindering her in returning to the court.
Here’s me running on an underwater treadmill because my Achilles is being stubborn still 😬 I must be aging or something. pic.twitter.com/vjEIvnxZxX
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) June 9, 2022
Osaka, 24, included some treatments she has been receiving on her Achilles.
What surface is Wimbledon played on?
One common criticism of Osaka is that she’s only able to succeed on hard courts. All four of her Grand Slam titles have come on hard courts (two in the Australian Open and two in the US Open). Wimbledon is played on grass.
Osaka wrote “there goes my grass dreams” in her post.
Osaka has won 84 percent of her hard-court matches and 57.5 percent of her matches on other surfaces.
Osaka was ranked 43rd in the world by the WTA as of June 13. That ranking will not change after Wimbledon because points won’t be awarded, but that is a precipitous drop from her No. 1 ranking at the beginning of 2019.