Wimbledon 2022: Naomi Osaka withdraws, tennis news

Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from Wimbledon.

The former world No. 1 said last month that she was strongly considering skipping the world’s most prestigious tennis event following the extraordinary decision by the ATP Tour and WTA Tour to void all points of tournament standings.

The ATP and WTA tours took away ranking points at Wimbledon after the All England Club banned Russian and Belarus players in response to the Ukraine invasion.

The stunning decision to reduce Wimbledon to an exhibition event has wreaked havoc on the tennis world – and cost the tournament several big stars.

Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard also withdrew from the Championships on Saturday because a lack of world ranking points doesn’t fit with her plans to manage her return from injury.

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Tennis journalist Jose Morgado tweeted that Osaka’s decision was “sad” as many saw the result coming.

Osaka hasn’t played at Wimbledon since 2019 and hasn’t won a match at Wimbledon since appearing in the third round in 2018.

Wimbledon was canceled in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic and Osaka skipped Wimbledon last year for mental health reasons.

She said last month: “I’m leaning more towards not playing given the current circumstances.

“I’m the kind of player who gets motivated by seeing my ranking go up.

“The intention of this measure was good, but the execution is everywhere. I’m sure there will be a bit of back and forth with the whole situation. Then I guess I’ll make my decision.

“I feel like if I play Wimbledon without points, it’s more like an exhibition.”

Earlier, Bouchard confirmed his decision to drop out of Wimbledon in an Instagram post.

“I have decided to withdraw from Wimbledon due to the WTA’s decision not to award ranking points at this year’s Championships,” said the Canadian.

Bouchard, 28, suffered a shoulder injury en route to the Guadalajara Open final in March 2021.

After conservative treatment efforts failed, she underwent surgery in June last year, her ranking plummeting as she was sidelined for months.

“Due to my shoulder surgery, I get a limited number of Protected Rating (RP) entries,” Bouchard wrote.

“Even though I love Wimbledon and skipping it makes me sad, using a PR entry in a tournament without ranking points doesn’t make sense.

“I have to choose wisely and use my PR inputs at tournaments that will help me get back to where I want to be.”

Bouchard said she still plans to return to action this year and plans to use public relations entries at the US Open and Australian Open next year.

Bouchard reached the Wimbledon final in 2014, the same year she reached a career-high No. 5 in the world. She reached the semi-finals of the Australian and French Opens that year, but her career has since been hampered by injuries.

— with AFP


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