Naomi Osaka withdraws from Wimbledon

Japanese tennis star, Naomi Osaka, will not be competing at Wimbledon later this month. The four-time Grand Slam champion announced her decision last Saturday, saying that she was still suffering from her left Achilles injury, which she received at the Madrid Open.

“My Achilles still isn’t right, so I’ll see you next time,” Naomi tweeted Saturday.  

Back in May, Naomi withdrew from the Italian Open with an ankle injury, but later that month, she came back to play the French Open with her ankle bandaged, when she suffered a first-round loss to 20-year-old Amanda Anisimova.

After the defeat, the Japanese athlete hinted that she might have to skip Wimbledon regardless of her Achilles because there won’t be ranking points at the tournament, which runs from June 27 to July 10, this year. This decision was announced by the ATP and WTA as, due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the tournament is banning Russian and Belarusian players.

“I’m not sure why, but I feel like if I play Wimbledon without points, it’s more like an exhibition,” Osaka announced after her French Open loss. “I know this isn’t true, right? But my brain just like feels that way. Whenever I think something is like an exhibition, I just can’t go at it 100 percent. I didn’t even make my decision yet, but I’m leaning more towards not playing given the current circumstances, but that might change.”

On her Twitter post last Saturday, Osaka confirmed the persistent issue with her Achilles and wrote a message titled, “after the storm comes the calm.”

“I feel like life keeps dealing cards, and you’re never gonna be used to them,” Osaka wrote. “But it’s how you adapt to uncomfortable situations that really say stuff about your character,” she said. 

She then closed her message in a hopeful tone: “I’ve been repeating mantras a lot in my head recently. I don’t know if it’s to subconsciously help myself through stressful times or to ease my mind into realizing that everything will work out fine as long as I put in the work. Cause what more can you do?”

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