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Former tennis world number one Naomi Osaka is preparing to boycott Wimbledon after the decision was made to remove ranking points from the Grand Slam tournament.
The Japanese star made the admission following a crushing first-round French Open defeat to American Amanda Anisimova.
The 90-minute matchup finished 7-5, 6-4, with Osaka making eight double faults, further proving that she just simply doesn’t like playing on clay.
However, the defeat isn’t what led to her admission that she’ll be giving Wimbledon a miss this year.
BREAKING: The ATP have stripped Wimbledon of ranking points: "The ability for players of any nationality to enter tournaments based on merit, and without discrimination, is fundamental to our Tour."— Stuart Fraser (@stu_fraser) May 20, 2022
The ATP, WTA, and ITF tours announced last week that they would be stripping Wimbledon of ranking points after the All England Club banned Russian and Belarusian players due to the invasion of Ukraine.
Osaka admitted: “I’m leaning towards not playing.
“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.”
Her comments come almost a year after she quit the French Open to focus on her mental health after she was widely criticised for avoiding the media, which she blamed was not respecting players’ mental health.
The four-time major winner added: “I’m leaning more towards not playing given the current circumstances. I’m the type of player that gets motivated by seeing my ranking go up.
“The intention of this measure was good, but the execution is all over the place. I’m sure there will be a bit of back and forth with the whole point situation. Then I guess I’ll make my decision.
“I feel like if I play Wimbledon without points, it’s more like an exhibition.”
Naomi Osaka has said she's 'not sure' if she will play at Wimbledon this year because no ranking points will be available, following the decision to ban Russian players. pic.twitter.com/ZhOvobZUYe— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) May 23, 2022
Wimbledon chiefs seemed to agree as they branded the move ‘disproportionate’ in that it reduces the most prestigious tournament in tennis to an exhibition event.
Meanwhile, Piers Morgan, as always popped his unwanted and irrelevant opinion into a topic that has nothing to do with him - taking a dig at Osaka.
He tweeted: “Great! We don’t want this sulky brat anyway.”
Great! We don’t want this sulky brat anyway. 👍 https://t.co/h9Oq29ctak— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) May 23, 2022
Current world number one, the Polish Iga Swiatek says she’ll be at Wimbledon regardless of whether the tournament has points or not.
She said: “I’m OK with playing without points. It’s Wimbledon. It’s one of the most important tournaments in the season.”
Meanwhile, tennis legend Rafael Nadal who won the tournament in 2008 and 2010 hoped for a resolution between ATP and Wimbledon.
He said: “I respect and understand the Wimbledon position; I understand and respect too that the ATP is protecting their members.
“Hopefully ATP and Wimbledon can be together and sit together and negotiate a better future for both sides. The ATP board made a decision. We need to accept that decision.”
Featured Image Credit: corleve / Alamy. DPPI Media / Alamy.
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