With an Achilles injury, Naomi Osaka, the former world number one, withdrew from Wimbledon on Saturday.
After the All England Club banned Russian and Belarusian players in retaliation to the invasion of Ukraine, Osaka, 24, was already considering not competing due to the ATP and WTA circuits’ decision to deduct ranking points from Wimbledon.
Osaka’s post included a shot of herself on a grass court as well as an emoji of a blade of grass, although without expressly referencing Wimbledon.
The Achilles ailment first struck the Japanese star in her maiden encounter in Madrid in May, causing her to withdraw from the Italian Open the following month.
“Here’s me running on a underwater treadmill because my Achilles is being stubborn still I must be aging or something.” she captioned a video of a training activity she shared on social media earlier this month.
Although Osaka’s name appeared on the Wimbledon singles registration list when it was announced last week, she has yet to compete in any of the grass-court warm-up tournaments.
After losing in the first round of the French Open last month, Osaka, who has never advanced past the third round at the All England Club, raised the prospect of skipping the grass court Grand Slam.
“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,” she said.
“I feel like if I play Wimbledon without points, it’s more like an exhibition,” she continued.
“The intention of this measure was good, but the execution is all over the place.”
Former Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard, who withdrew out of the season’s third Grand Slam on Friday, preceded Osaka in withdrawing.
The absence of world ranking points didn’t mesh with the Canadian’s intentions to manage her recovery from injury, she added.
The names of both players were missing from a recently updated players’ list.
Osaka has reached it to the third round of the competition twice, in 2017 and 2018, with her most recent participation in 2019.