Naomi Osaka out of Wimbledon due to Achilles injury

Japanese player posts on social media that problem 'still isn't right' so will miss London Grand Slam

Naomi Osaka has never been beyond the third round at Wimbledon. AFP
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Former world No 1 Naomi Osaka has pulled out of Wimbledon due to an Achilles injury.

Osaka picked up the injury in Madrid, forcing her to miss the WTA 1000 tournament in Rome in the run-up to the French Open where she lost in the first round to Amanda Anisimova.

The four-time Grand Slam champion has already expressed reservations about competing after the tournament was stripped of its ranking points for banning Russian and Belarusian players from competing over the invasion of Ukraine.

The Japanese player's name had appeared on the singles entry list for Wimbledon – that starts on June 27 – when it was released last week, but she has not appeared in any of the grass-court events.

“My Achilles still isn't right so I'll see you next time,” Osaka posted on Twitter. Adding a wave and a grass emoji, the four-time slam winner continued: “After the storm comes the calm. This is a saying that I’m actively trying to master.

“I feel like life keeps dealing cards and you’re never gonna be used to them but it’s how you adapt to uncomfortable situations that really says stuff about your character. I’ve been repeating mantras in my head a lot recently.

“I don’t know if it’s to subconsciously help myself through stressful times or to ease my mind into realising that everything will work out fine as long as I put the work in. Cause what more can you do?”

Speaking after her French Open exit, the 24-year-old admitted she was “not 100 per cent sure” she would appear at the SW19 tournament.

“The intention of this measure was good, but the execution is all over the place,” Osaka said of the decision to strip Wimbledon of points.

“I feel like if I play Wimbledon without points, it's more like an exhibition. I know this isn't true, right? But my brain just like feels that way.

“I would love to go, just to get some experience on the grass court, but at the same time I'm the type of player that gets motivated by seeing my ranking go up.”

On Friday, 2014 Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard withdrew over issues relating to the tournament not carrying ranking points.

Bouchard, 28, had surgery on her right shoulder last June after an injury at the Guadalajara Open a few months earlier, dropping out of the rankings due to her lengthy absence from the tour.

“Due to my shoulder surgery, I get a limited number of protected ranking (PR) entries,” she said in a social media post.

“As much as I love Wimbledon and skipping it makes me sad, using a PR entry at a tournament with no ranking points doesn't make sense. I must choose wisely and use my PR entries at tournaments that will help me get back to where I want to be.”

Updated: June 18, 2022, 3:03 PM