Tennis star Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from Wimbledon

Tennis star Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from Wimbledon

Naomi Osaka has turned her back on Wimbledon with another crushing blow to the world’s most prestigious tennis event.

Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from Wimbledon.

The former world No. 1 said last month she was strongly considering skipping the world’s most prestigious tennis event after the ATP Tour and WTA Tour scrapped all tournament ranking points.

The ATP and WTA tours removed ranking points from Wimbledon after the All England Club banned Russian and Belarusian players in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

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

Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard also withdrew from the championships on Saturday because the 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 wrote on Twitter that Osaka’s decision was “sad” although many saw the result coming.

Osaka has not played at Wimbledon since 2019 and has not won a game at Wimbledon since her third-round appearance 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 more inclined not to play given the current circumstances.

“I’m the type of player who gets motivated when he sees my ranking go up.

“The intention of this measure was good, but the implementation is completely wrong. I’m sure there will be a bit of back and forth with the whole point situation. Then I will probably make my decision.”

“I feel like if I play Wimbledon without points, it’s more of a show.”

Bouchard previously confirmed her decision to retire from Wimbledon in an Instagram post.

“I have decided to retire from Wimbledon as the WTA has decided not to award ranking points at this year’s championships,” the Canadian said.

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

After failed attempts at conservative treatment, she underwent surgery last June, her ranking falling as she was sidelined for months.

“Due to my shoulder surgery, I receive a limited number of protected ranking (PR) entries,” wrote Bouchard.

“As much as I love Wimbledon and it’s sad to skip it, there’s no point using a PR entry at a tournament with no ranking points.

“I have to choose wisely and use my PR efforts in 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 expects to use PR 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 of No. 5 in the world rankings. She reached the semifinals of the Australian Open and French Open that year, but her career has since been hampered by injuries.

— with AFP

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