Naomi Osaka retired from Wimbledon on Saturday, citing an ongoing problem with her left Achilles tendon and marking the second year in a row that she has opted to sit out on the grass court Grand Slam Competition.
The four-time major champion and former No. 1 player posted a photo of herself on a grass pitch and continued writing Twitter: “My Achilles is still wrong, so see you next time.”
Since then, Osaka has not played an official game Loss in the first round of the French Open against Amanda Anisimova on May 24, 7-5, 6-4. During that game, for which she said she took painkillers, Osaka attempted to stretch her tendon by pulling on the toe of her shoe during transition and crouching to flex her lower leg between points.
After that defeat, Osaka said she tends to miss Wimbledon because the professional tennis tours don’t award ranking points – a reaction to the All England Club’s decision to ban all players from Russia and Belarus over the war in Ukraine.
“I’m not sure why, but I feel like if I play Wimbledon without points, it’s more of a show. I know that’s not true, right? But my brain feels the same way. Whenever I think something is like an exhibition, I just can’t do it 100%,” Osaka said at the time. “I haven’t even made my decision yet, but I’m more inclined not to play given the current circumstances.”
Eugenie Bouchard, who finished runners-up at the All England Club in 2014, announced on Friday social media that she would not play at Wimbledon because there are no ranking points there. Bouchard is working her way back from surgery on her right shoulder.
Osaka did not play Wimbledon a year ago as part of a mental break she took after withdrawing from the French Open ahead of her second-round match.
She has not won a match at the All England Club since reaching the third round in 2018. Osaka lost in the first round of Wimbledon in 2019, and the tournament was canceled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
All four of Osaka’s Grand Slam titles have come on hard court: at the 2018 and 2020 US Open and at the 2019 and 2021 Australian Open.
The 24-year-old Osaka has played just 17 games this season and her ranking has fallen to 43 this week.
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