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Naomi Osaka withdraws from Wimbledon with Achilles injury

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Naomi Osaka’s best performance at Wimbledon was reaching the third round in 2017 and 2018

Four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from Wimbledon with an Achilles injury.

Japan’s Osaka has not played since the French Open and recently posted a video of herself doing rehab on a treadmill.

The 24-year-old previously said she was “unsure” if she would play Wimbledon due to its lack of ranking points.

The ATP and WTA stripped the points from Wimbledon after the tournament banned Russian and Belarusian players over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Osaka’s name appeared on the singles entry list for Wimbledon when it was released last week, but she has not appeared in any of the grass-court events.

Speaking after her first-round French Open exit, Osaka said she was “not 100% 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 in May 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.”

The world number 43 has slipped down the rankings after taking several breaks from the sport last year to protect her mental health.

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Osaka won the US Open in 2018 and 2020 and the Australian Open in 2019 and 2021, but has never gone beyond the third round at Wimbledon.

Former finalist Eugenie Bouchard also withdrew from the tournament on Saturday because of the lack of points.

The Canadian former world number five dropped to 253 in the WTA standings in January after a lengthy absence following shoulder surgery, but was able to enter the Wimbledon main draw under her protected ranking.

Players only receive a limited number of protected ranking entries to use at tournaments.

“As much as I love Wimbledon and skipping it makes me sad, using a protected ranking [PR] entry at a tournament with no ranking points doesn’t make sense,” said the 28-year-old, who lost in the 2014 singles final to Petra Kvitova.

“I must choose wisely and use my PR entries at tournaments that will help me get back to where I want to be.”

Bouchard said she would use her two Grand Slam protected ranking entries at the US Open and Australian Open.

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