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Naomi Osaka could skip Wimbledon after ranking points removal

·2-min read
Naomi Osaka could miss Wimbledon after the Grand Slam was stripped of its ranking points  (Getty Images)
Naomi Osaka could miss Wimbledon after the Grand Slam was stripped of its ranking points (Getty Images)

Naomi Osaka has become the first prominent tennis star to suggest that she may skip Wimbledon this summer due to the loss of ranking points.

The ATP and WTA stripped ranking points from the third Grand Slam of the year last week following the All England Club’s controversial ban on Russian and Belarusian players from competing amid the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

However, warm-up events in Britain such as the Queen’s Club Championships and Eastbourne International will retain their points.

The likes of British No1 Cameron Norrie subsequently warned that many top players will miss Wimbledon as a result, comparing this year’s tournament to an “exhibition” event with little on the line.

Four-time Grand Slam winner Osaka has since become the first high-profile star to intimate that she may not play at SW19, where she has never previously advanced past the third round.

The former world No1 admitted she was unsure if she would play on grass at all this season, citing a lack of motivation for Wimbledon with no chance to improve a ranking that currently sits at 38 following two breaks from the sport taken in 2021 in order to protect her mental health.

“I would say the decision is kind of affecting my mentality going into grass, like I’m not 100 per cent sure if I’m going to go there,” Osaka said after her first-round defeat by familiar foe Amanda Anisimova in the first round at the French Open, where she resumed media duties after last year’s furore.

“I would love to go just to get some experience on the grass court, but like 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.”

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