Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka has officially confirmed she will not be competing at Wimbledon this year due to her Achilles injury.
Osaka, 24, announced her decision to withdraw from the tournament on Twitter and Instagram on Saturday, sharing that her Achilles tendon “still isn’t right” and that she is “trying to find the positives in a negative situation.”
“I feel like life keeps dealing cards and you’re never going to be used to them but it’s how you adapt to uncomfortable situations that really says stuff about your character,” Osaka wrote.
“Everyday before I go to sleep I think of all the people I love and how grateful I am to have them in my life. I honestly just wish the best for them and I hope that my existence brings them as much joy as they do me,” she added.
The tournament confirmed Osaka’s withdrawal via its Ladies’ Singles – Withdraw List published on Saturday.
In a tweet from earlier this month, Osaka shared a video of a therapy session where she can be seen running on a water treadmill.
“Here’s me running on [an] underwater treadmill because my Achilles is being stubborn still,” Osaka wrote. “I must be aging or something.”
The world’s former No. 1 female tennis player suffered an injury in Madrid last month, causing her to miss the 2022 Italian Open on May 9 in the lead-up to the French Open.
Osaka, who gave up her American citizenship to play for Japan at the 2020 Olympics, last competed at Wimbledon in 2019, where she lost against Kazakhstani tennis player Yulia Putintseva during the tournament’s first round.
During her post-match conference at the French Open last month, where she lost in her first-round match against American tennis player Amanda Anisimova, Osaka had already hinted that she might not compete at this year’s Wimbledon. The Japanese tennis player said the decision of the Association of Tennis Professionals and the Women’s Tennis Association to remove Wimbledon’s ranking points played a part in her decision to skip another year.
“I would say the decision is kind of affecting my mentality going into grass, like I’m not 100% sure if I’m going to go there,” Osaka said during the conference.
“I would love to go just to get some experience on the grass-court but at the same time, for me, it’s kind of like – I don’t want to say pointless, no pun intended – but I’m the type of player that gets motivated by… seeing my ranking go up.”
“I feel like if I play Wimbledon without points, it’s more like an exhibition. I know this isn’t true, but my brain just feels that way,” Osaka continued. “When I think something is like an exhibition, I just can’t go at it 100 percent.”
The ATP and WTA stripped Wimbledon of its ranking points after making the decision to exclude Russian and Belarusian players from Wimbledon because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Featured Image via Peter Menzel (CC BY-SA 2.0)