Naomi Osaka Says She May Skip Wimbledon Over Ranking Points Row

Former world number one Naomi Osaka said on Monday she could skip Wimbledon due to her decision to strip the Grand Slam tournament of ranking points.

Osaka said after losing 7-5, 6-4 to Amanda Anisimova in the first round of the French Open.

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Last week’s 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.

“I would just go get some experience on the grass court, but at the same time, I don’t want to say it’s pointless, but I’m the kind of person who gets excited by seeing my ranking go up,” the four-time main winner added.

“So the intent of this action was good, but the execution is all over the place.

“I am sure there will be a little delay with the whole situation. Then I think I will make my decision.”

The Wimbledon chiefs have described the two-round move, which threatens to reduce the sport’s most famous tennis tournament to the status of an exhibition event, as “disproportionate”.

Former US Open champion Sloane Stephens said Sunday she supports the move to remove standings points.

“I think the decision that was made was the right one,” said the American.

Osaka was eliminated on Monday from Roland Garros, 12 months after her controversial withdrawal from the tournament.

The foul-plagued Japanese star made eight double faults and made 29 unforced errors against Anisimova.

In 2021, Osaka withdrew from starring at Roland Garros when she refused to honor mandatory media obligations before revealing that she struggled with depression.

Osaka, who was No. 2 in the world at the time, was fined and threatened with a Grand Slam ban for opposing press conferences which she likened to “kicking people when they are frustrated”.

Fun part about life

Osaka has now reached 38th in Paris after playing only two matches on clay this season.

“In my head, I was going to do a great job here and great in Madrid and Rome. I think that’s like the fun part in life, there are so many unexpected things,” she said.

On a cold, wet day at Susan Lenglin Stadium, there were four service breaks in the first six games.

Osaka, who did not get past the third round in Paris, led briefly 5-4 but was broken for the third time in the eleventh game on the back of her fourth double fault.

Anisimova, the 27th seed who finished the Australian Open title defense for Osaka last January, served Anisimova as the Japanese starlet was left to regret her 17 unforced errors in the opener.

Osaka fractured in the seventh game of the second set, as her left ankle was taped to protect an injury that forced her to withdraw from the Italian Open.

Anisimova, who reached the semi-finals in 2019, took the third match point victory with a sharp backhand down the line.

“It’s hard to see Naomi Osaka in the first round, so I knew it wouldn’t be easy,” Anisimova said.

“I knew I had to play my best tennis and the conditions weren’t easy.”

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