Naomi Osaka Withdraws from Wimbledon 2022 Because of Leg Injury

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJune 18, 2022

PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 23: Naomi Osaka of Japan vs Amanda Anisimova of USA during the Women's Singles First Round match on Day 2 of The 2022 French Open at Roland Garros on May 23, 2022 in Paris, France. (Photo by Tnani Badreddine/DeFodi Images via Getty Images )
Tnani Badreddine/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Four-time Grand Slam tennis champion and former world No. 1 Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from the 2022 Wimbledon tournament.

Wimbledon released its withdrawal list Saturday. It included Osaka, who will miss the event because of a leg injury:

Dan Wolken @DanWolken

Naomi Osaka withdraws from Wimbledon with leg injury <a href="https://t.co/UvaTfb4oxi">https://t.co/UvaTfb4oxi</a>

This marks the second consecutive year Osaka has missed Wimbledon. She has not played in the tournament since 2019, as it was canceled in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last year, Osaka won the Australian Open and entered the French Open, but she withdrew before the second round at Roland Garros when she was threatened with fines and other punishments for refusing to speak to the media because of anxiety.

Osaka subsequently took an extended leave of absence, missing Wimbledon, before returning for the 2021 U.S. Open.

The 24-year-old is now ranked just 43rd in the world largely because of the significant amount of time she has missed over the past couple of years.

Osaka hasn't played her best tennis this year, either, getting ousted in the third round of the Aussie Open and the first round of the French Open by Amanda Anisimova on both occasions.

She did reach the finals of the Miami Open in April, but Osaka fell to world No. 1 Iga Swiatek in straight sets.

Even when healthy, Osaka has not enjoyed much success at Wimbledon during her career, never making it beyond the third round. She doesn't own any tournament wins on grass as a WTA player, either.

Assuming the leg injury isn't a long-term issue, taking time off will perhaps allow Osaka to get ready for the U.S. Open, which begins in late August. Osaka is a two-time U.S. Open champion, having won the event in 2018 and 2020.

As for Wimbledon, it will go on without Osaka, beginning on June 27 and running through July 10.