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Friday, July 1, 2022

Naomi Osaka retires from Wimbledon

Naomi Osaka withdrew from the Wimbledon tournament on Saturday due to a persistent injury to her left Achilles tendon.

The four-time Grand Slam winner and former world number one posted a picture of herself on a grass court on Twitter, captioning it: “My Achilles is still not well so I’ll see you guys next time.”

Osaka has not played an official match as Amanda Anisimova defeated her 7-5, 6-4 in the first round of the French Open on 24 May. During the match, for which he was said to have taken painkillers, Osaka several times stretched his tendon by pulling the toe of his shoe into a side change and squatting to flex his foot between the points. Tried that many times.

Following that defeat, Osaka said she was leaning towards missing Wimbledon because the professional tennis tour would not award ranking points in response to the All England Club’s decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players because of the war in Ukraine.

“I don’t know why, but I feel like playing Wimbledon without points is like an exhibition. I know it’s not, but my mind feels it. When I feel like something is an exhibition, So I can’t play 100%,” Osaka said at the time. “I haven’t made a decision yet, but I am leaning towards not playing as much, given the current circumstances.”

Eugenie Bouchard, a 2014 All England Club finalist, announced on social media on Friday that she would not play at Wimbledon as there are no ranking points available. Bouchard is recovering from surgery on his right shoulder.

Osaka did not play at Wimbledon last year after she went on a mental health hiatus after withdrawing from the French Open ahead of her second-round match.

He has not won a game at the All England Club since reaching the third round in 2018. He lost in the first round at Wimbledon in 2019 and the 2020 tournament was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

All four of Osaka’s Grand Slam titles were on hard court: the 2018 and 2020 US Opens and the 2019 and 2021 Australian Opens.

The 24-year-old Japanese has played just 17 matches this season and has dropped to 43rd place this week.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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