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Naomi Osaka officially withdraws from Wimbledon following 'exhibition' comments

Naomi Osaka has followed through on her previous threat to withdraw from Wimbledon over ranking points issue.
Naomi Osaka snub to pointless Wimbledon

Naomi Osaka has followed through on her threat not to play Wimbledon, officially withdrawing from the tournament.

The Japanese star was one of the first players to come out publicly criticise the lack of ranking points on offer after the WTA and ATP announced their decision.

She went so far as saying the tournament has been reduced to 'an exhibition' by the decision, and she was not sufficiently motivated to play under those circumstances.

Speaking in May after being knocked out of Roland Garros, Osaka said: "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 just can’t go at it 100%.

"I didn’t even make my decision yet, but I’m leaning more towards not playing given the current circumstances, but that might change.

“I would love to go just to get some experience on grass, but at the same time, for me, it’s kind of – 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. So I think the intention was really good, but the execution is kind of all over the place.”

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She left that door open by putting her name on the entry list for the event, presumably to wait to see if the WTA and Wimbledon could negotiate some kind of solution.

However, talks appear to be at an impasse, so Osaka has now officially withdrawn, with injury the reason given.

"My Achilles still isn't right so I'll see you next time," the four-time Grand Slam title winner posted on Twitter.

Author's comment: Although no one wants to see the big names missing Wimbledon, you have to wonder whether Osaka will actually be missed.

She has never been further than the third round there before and not appeared at the tournament at all since 2019.

Naomi Osaka, whilst brilliant at her best, seems to be happy to be known just as a hardcourt player. Her record on clay and grass is poor and, frankly, she's not going to improve it while skipping tournaments.

She is carrying an Achilles injury but that may be irrelevant here really given how she made her feelings very clear on Wimbledon at Roland Garros.

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