Naomi Osaka withdraws from Wimbledon suffering with achilles issue

Naomi Osaka talks to the media

Former world No 1 Naomi Osaka has officially withdrawn from Wimbledon citing a left Achilles injury that she is yet to fully recover from.

The four-times Grand Slam champion said on Saturday that she simply wasn’t ready to join the field at SW19.

Osaka sustained the injury in Madrid, which then forced her to miss the WTA 1000 tournament in Rome in the leadup to the French Open where she would lose in the first round.

She had given an injury update of sorts during the week, suggesting her recovery was not progressing in a way that she might have hoped.

Last week she posted a video on social media, saying: “Here’s me running on a underwater treadmill because my Achilles is being stubborn still (sic) I must be aging or something.”

Osaka offered a terse announcement of her withdrawal on social media.

The Japanese No 1 added on Saturday: “My Achilles still isn’t right so I’ll see you next time.”

Osaka revealed after her defeat at Roland Garros that she was not 100% sure if she would play on grass this season.

“I didn’t even make my decision yet but I’m leaning more towards not playing given the current circumstances. That might change but I do want to get more experience on the grass and I know that the Berlin tournament is giving out points,” Osaka said.

The ATP and WTA have stripped ranking points from the grasscourt Grand Slam after organisers the All England Lawn Tennis Club decided to bar participation from Russian and Belarusian players following Moscow’s military action in Ukraine.

“I would love to go to get some experience on the grass court, but I’m the type of player who gets motivated by seeing my ranking go up,” Osaka said a month ago.

She had reasoned that playing in the major without the possibility of earning points would not help her ranking and the decision of the authorities had reduced her motivation to play.

Osaka, who is currently ranked 43rd after a disrupted season, also pulled out of Wimbledon last year after taking time off for “personal reasons” in the wake of her Roland Garros walkout.