Naomi Osaka withdraws from Wimbledon with Achilles injury


Naomi Osaka withdraws from Wimbledon with Achilles injury

Naomi Osaka, the Japanese tennis star who remains a one-surface wonder, will not play at Wimbledon later this month, she announced in a social media post on Saturday.

Osaka and her team stated that the withdrawal was due to tendonitis in her left Achilles tendon and that she would have played had she been healthy.

After losing in the first round of the French Open with a wrapped left ankle last month, Osaka, a former No. 1 whose four Grand Slam titles have all been won on hard courts, told reporters she was prone to it, but hasn’t since the two of them more to play at Wimbledon The men’s and women’s tours have stripped ranking points from the Grand Slam event in response to Wimbledon’s ban on Russian and Belarusian players.

“I have the feeling that if I play Wimbledon without points, it’s more of a show,” Osaka said in Paris. “I know that’s not true, right? But my brain feels the same way. If I think something is like an exhibition, I just can’t do it 100 percent.”

As it turned out, however, Osaka wasn’t healthy enough to compete in grass court tournaments this month, even those offering ranking points. She withdrew from the WTA 500 event in Berlin this week citing the Achilles tendon injury and posted a video of herself on June 9 Running on an underwater treadmill.

“My Achilles is still stubborn,” she wrote in the Post. “I have to age or something.”

Her social media post on Saturday included photos and videos of her receiving acupuncture and ultrasound treatments on her left Achilles tendon.

“I’m trying to find the positive in a negative situation so love you all,” she wrote. “But there go my weed dreams.”

“Achilles is one of those areas of tendinitis or tendon strain that you don’t want to mess around with and play around with,” said Nicholas DiNubile, an American orthopedic surgeon who doesn’t treat Osaka. “There is a risk of rupture, which is a disaster.”

Osaka has won both hard-court Grand Slam tournaments – the Australian Open and the US Open – twice but is never past the third round of the French Open, played on clay, or the third round at Wimbledon, played on grass will, come out. She has yet to reach a final in any Tour event on clay or grass, and while her career singles record on hard is an impressive 133-56, her career singles record is 21-17 on clay and 11-9 on grass. She struggled with her movement and timing on surfaces other than hard courts, which she trained on primarily during her formative years in Florida.

Her powerful first serve, penetrating and relatively flat groundstrokes, and ability to counterattack from low body positions would seemingly set her up to succeed on turf. At the moment, however, their balance sheet does not reflect this potential.

Osaka last played at Wimbledon in 2019, losing in the first round in a year she changed coaches after rising to No to improve mental health. She’s ranked 43 this week, down from a low of 85 earlier this season.

Since reaching the Miami Open final in April, where she lost to new No. 1 Iga Swiatek, Osaka has won just one singles match and has withdrawn from the Italian Open, Berlin Open and Wimbledon.

She is targeting a return to the Tour in the first week of August when the circuit returns to North America with hard court events in Washington, DC and San Jose, California.

Osaka will continue to rehabilitate for the time being. She began her post on Saturday with, “After the storm comes calm.”

“This is a saying I’m actively trying to master,” she wrote. “I feel like life deals cards all the time and you never get used to it, but how you adapt to uncomfortable situations really says something about your character.”

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