Naomi Osaka won’t play at Wimbledon, citing Achilles tendon

BNP Paribas Open - Day 6
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The four-time major champion and former No. 1-ranked player posted a photo of herself on a grass court and wrote on Twitter: “my Achilles still isn’t right so I’ll see you next time.”

Osaka has not played an official match since losing in the first round of the French Open to Amanda Anisimova 7-5, 6-4 on May 24. During that match, for which she said she took a painkiller, Osaka tried to stretch her tendon by tugging on the toe of her shoe at changeovers and squatting to flex her lower leg between points.

After that defeat, Osaka said she was leaning toward missing Wimbledon because the professional tennis tours aren’t ranking points awarded – a response to the All England Club’s decision to bar all players from Russia and Belarus over the war in Ukraine.

“I’m not sure why, but I feel like 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. Whenever I think something is like an exhibition, I just can’t go at it 100%,” Osaka said then. “I didn’t even make my decision yet, but I’m leaning more towards not playing, given the current circumstances.”

Eugenie Bouchard, who was the runner-up at the All England Club in 2014, announced Friday on social media that she would not play at Wimbledon because there are no ranking points available. Bouchard is working her way back from surgery on her right shoulder.

Osaka did not play at Wimbledon a year ago as part of a mental health break she took after pulling out of the French Open before her second-round match.

She has not won a match at the All England Club since getting to the third round in 2018. Osaka lost in the first round of Wimbledon in 2019, and the tournament was canceled in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

All four of Osaka’s Grand Slam titles came on hard courts: at the U.S. Open in 2018 and 2020 and at the Australian Open in 2019 and 2021.

The 24-year-old Osaka has played only 17 matches this season and her ranking fell to No. 43 this week.

Sakkari through to Parma Open quarterfinals; Stephens loses

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PARMA, Italy — Top-seeded Maria Sakkari rallied past Arantxa Rus 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals of the Parma Ladies Open.

Sakkari, who accepted a late wild card to the red clay court tournament, was playing her first event since losing to Wang Xiyu in the second round of the U.S. Open.

The Greek player will next face Maryna Zanevska of Belgium after she eased past Dalma Galfi 6-1, 6-3.

Fourth-seeded Sloane Stephens of the United States, the 2017 U.S. Open champion, lost to Danka Kovinic 7-5, 2-6, 7-5.

Kovinic will face Jasmine Paolini in the quarterfinals after the Italian defeated compatriot Elisabetta Cocciaretto 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

There will be an American in the final eight, however, as Lauren Davis rallied to beat Sara Sorribes Tormo 3-6, 6-4, 7-5. Sorribes Tormo had eliminated second-seeded Martina Trevisan in straight sets in the opening round.

Davis will play Mayar Sherif after the Egyptian player defeated Simona Waltert 6-3, 7-6 (1).

Also, third-seeded Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania eased past Italian wild card Matilde Paoletti 6-4, 6-4 to set up a quarterfinal against sixth-seeded Ana Bogdan, who beat Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.

Sorribes Tormo beats 2nd-seeded Trevisan at Parma Open

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PARMA, Italy — Sara Sorribes Tormo beat second-seeded Martina Trevisan 7-5, 6-0 in the opening round of the Parma Ladies Open – marking the third consecutive first-round loss for this year’s French Open semifinalist.

Third-seeded Irina-Camelia Begu advanced when Viktoriya Tomova retired with Begu leading 7-5, 5-1.

Danka Kovinic beat Oceane Dodin 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 and will next face 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens.

Also on the red clay courts, Mayar Sherif of Egypt eliminated fifth-seeded Anna Bondar 7-5, 6-4; Elisabetta Cocciaretto defeated seventh-seeded Nuria Parrizas Diaz 7-5, 6-1; and Italian wild card Matilde Paoletti earned her first tour-level win by beating Romanian qualifier Gabriela Lee 6-4, 3-6, 6-0.