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Wimbledon 2022: Naomi Osaka pulls out, tennis news

Naomi Osaka has turned her back on Wimbledon in another crushing blow for the world’s most prestigious tennis event.

Naomi Osaka has pulled out of Wimbledon.

The former World No. 1 said last month she was strongly considering skipping the world’s most prestigious tennis event following the extraordinary decision from the ATP Tour and WTA Tour to cancel all ranking points at the tournament.

The ATP and WTA tours removed ranking points from Wimbledon after the All England Club banned Russian and Belarusian players in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

The stunning decision to reduce Wimbledon to an exhibition event has caused chaos in the tennis world — and has cost the tournament several big name stars.

Canadian Eugenie Bouchard also withdrew from the Championships on Saturday because the lack of world rankings points doesn’t fit with her plans to manage her return from injury.

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Tennis journalist Jose Morgado posted on Twitter Osaka’s decision was “sad” despite many seeing the outcome coming.

Osaka has not played at Wimbledon since 2019 and has not won any matches at Wimbledon since her third round appearance in 2018.

Wimbledon was canceled in 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic and Osaka skipped Wimbledon last year citing mental health reasons.

She said last month: “I’m leaning more towards not playing given the current circumstances.

“I’m the type of player that gets motivated by seeing my ranking go up.

“The intention of this measure was good, but the execution is all over the place. I’m sure there will be a bit of back and forth with the whole point situation. Then I guess I’ll make my decision.”

“I feel like if I play Wimbledon without points, it’s more like an exhibition.”

Earlier, Bouchard confirmed her decision to abandon Wimbledon in an Instagram post.

“I have decided to withdraw from Wimbledon due to the WTA’s decision to not award ranking points at this year’s Championships,” the Canadian said posted.

Bouchard, 28, suffered a shoulder injury on the way to the final at the Guadalajara Open in March of 2021.

After conservative treatment efforts failed she underwent surgery in June of last year, her ranking plummeting as she was sidelined for months.

“Due to my shoulder surgery, I get a limited number of protected ranking (PR) entries,” Bouchard wrote.

“As much as I love Wimbledon and skipping it makes me sad, using a PR entry at a tournament with no rankings points doesn’t make sense.

“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 still planned to return to action this year, and expected to use PR entries at the US Open and next year’s Australian Open.

Bouchard reached the Wimbledon final in 2014, the same year she reached a career-high No. 5 in the world rankings. She reached the semi-finals of the Australian and French Opens that year, but her career has since been hindered by injuries.

— with AFP

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