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Naomi Osaka withdraws from Wimbledon with Achilles tendon injury, had expressed doubts about playing




Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from Wimbledon citing a lingering problem with her left Achilles tendon and for the second consecutive year she has decided not to play the Grand Slam tournament on the grass court.

Osaka’s name was on the cancellation list on Saturday, with a leg injury being the reason for her failure. Osaka played through a left Achilles tendon injury and had tape on her foot during a first-round loss at the French Open last month.

Confirming her withdrawal on social media on Saturday, she tweeted: “My Achilles tendon is still not good, so I’ll see you next time,” writing: “There go my grass dreams,” in a Instagram post

Osaka has not played since Amanda Anisimova lost 7-5, 6-4 at the French Open. During that match, for which she claimed to have taken a painkiller, Osaka tried to stretch her tendon by pulling on the toe of her shoe when changing and squatting to bend her lower leg between points.

She initially sustained the injury in Madrid in May, forcing her to miss the WTA 1000 event in Rome.

Osaka had also expressed doubts about playing for the All England Club after her loss to Roland Garros. The former world No. 1 said removing ranking points at Wimbledon this year after the ban on Russian and Belarus players would be a factor in her decision, saying the Grand Slam event is now “more like an exhibition” used to be.

“I’d like to go and get some experience on the lawn, but at the same time for me it’s kind of — I’m not saying it’s pointless, no pun intended, but I’m the type of player who’s motivated by my ranking up or, like, you know, stuff like that,” Osaka said on May 23. “So I think the intent was really good, but the execution is a bit out of place.”

Osaka, a two-time champion at the Australian Open and the US Open, never made it past the third round at Wimbledon. She didn’t play at Wimbledon a year ago as part of a mental health hiatus she took after withdrawing from the French Open before her second round match.

The 24-year-old star has only played 17 games this season and her ranking dropped to number 43 this week.

Also on the recording list was Saturday 2014 Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard, who is working his way back from surgery on her right shoulder and tweeted friday that the lack of ranking points led to her decision.

Bernarda Pera and Laura Pigossi have been added to the field in place of Osaka and Bouchard.

Information from ESPN’s Tom Hamilton, The Associated Press and Reuters was used in this report.




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