Naomi Osaka withdraws from Wimbledon due to Achilles injury and has doubts about playing

Naomi Osaka withdrew from Wimbledon citing a chronic problem with her left Achilles tendon, and for that second year in a row she decided to compete in a Grand Slam on grass.

Osaka was included in the withdrawal list on Saturday, citing a leg injury as the reason for leaving. Osaka played with a left Achilles tendon injury and tapered her foot during her first-round loss at the French Open last month.

She confirmed her withdrawal on social media on Saturday, tweeting, “Achilles is still not feeling well, so I’ll see you next time,” and wrote, “Here are my dreams on the grass” in an Instagram post.

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

She initially suffered the injury in Madrid in May, which forced her to miss the WTA 1000 event in Rome.

Osaka expressed her doubts about playing in the All England Club after losing to Roland Garros. The former world number one said the removal of ranking points at Wimbledon this year after it banned Russian and Belarusian players would be a factor in her decision, saying the Grand Slam event is now “more like an exhibition”.

“I’d just go get some experience on the grass field, but at the same time, for me, it’s kind of impressive – I don’t want to say in vain, no pun intended, but the kind of player that motivates him, like,” Osaka said on May 23. , seeing my ranking go up or, like, you know, things like that.’ So I think the intent was really good, but the execution kind of ended up being somewhere.”

Osaka, a two-time Australian and US Open champion, did not make it past the third round at Wimbledon. She did not play at Wimbledon a year ago as part of a mental health break she took after withdrawing from the French Open prior to her second round match.

The 24-year-old has played just 17 games this season, and her ranking slipped to 43rd this week.

Also on Saturday’s withdrawal list was 2014 Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard, who is making her way back from surgery to her right shoulder and Tweet Friday That lack of ranking points led to her decision.

Bernarda Pera and Laura Begosi 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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