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TENNIS

Why has Naomi Osaka pulled out of Wimbledon?

Wimbledon officials cited a leg injury as the reason for Naomi Osaka’s withdrawal from the upcoming grand slam in London.

Update:
PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 23: Naomi Osaka of Japan vs Amanda Anisimova of USA during the Women's Singles First Round match on Day 2 of The 2022 French Open at Roland Garros on May 23, 2022 in Paris, France. (Photo by Tnani Badreddine/DeFodi Images via Getty Images )
DeFodi ImagesGetty

Naomi Osaka pulled out of Wimbledon on Saturday as tournament officials said the former world number one was suffering with a leg injury.

The announcement came in the wake of Osaka revealing she was considering skipping the grand slam in any case, as she suspected it may feel “like an exhibition”.

The All England Club’s decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players from competing has resulted in the WTA and ATP stripping Wimbledon of all ranking points.

Four-time champion

Osaka, who is a four-time grand slam champion, suggested after her first-round exit at the French Open that she was unsure about whether to commit to the grass-court major.

Confirmation of her absence from the event, which starts on June 27, came from Wimbledon as her name was added to a list of withdrawals.

The Japanese 24-year-old has only played Wimbledon’s main draw three times in her career, twice reaching the third round. She has yet to go further but has won the Australian Open twice and the US Open on two occasions. Recently she complained of a “stubborn” Achilles problem.

Osaka took to Twitter on Saturday. “My Achilles still isn’t right so I’ll see you next time,” she wrote.

Bouchard withdraws

Osaka was joined on the withdrawal list by Eugenie Bouchard, the 28-year-old Canadian who was runner-up to Petra Kvitova at the 2014 Wimbledon championships.

Wimbledon listed Bouchard as absent due to a shoulder problem; however, that told only part of the story.

She is battling her way back up the rankings after injury and disappointing results and said she could not risk using a special entry dispensation on a tournament that will carry no points.

Bouchard wrote on Instagram: “I have decided to withdraw from Wimbledon due to the WTA’s decision to not award ranking points at this year’s championships.

“Due to my shoulder surgery, I get a limited number of protected ranking [PR] entries. 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 at tournaments that will help me get back to where I want to be.”

She said she would use her protected ranking grand slam entries for the next US Open and Australian Open.

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