Naomi Osaka might be skipping Wimbledon.
The ATP and WTA have announced ranking points won’t be awarded at Wimbledon with Russian and Belarusian players banned for their countries’ invasion of Ukraine.
Speaking with reporters after her first-round loss to Amanda Anisimova at the French Open, Osaka said that would make her consider the major an “exhibition” rather than a meaningful competition.
“I’m not sure why, but I feel like if I play Wimbledon without points, it’s more like an exhibition,” she said. “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 percent. I didn’t even make my decision yet, but I’m leaning more towards not playing given the current circumstances, but that might change.”
She added that the decision on whether to award points for the tournament is impacting her mental approach.
“I would say the decision is kind of affecting my mentality coming into grass. I’m not 100 percent sure if I’m gonna go there,” she aid. “I would love to go just to get some experience on the grass court, but 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 or stuff like that.
“So, I think the intention is really good but the execution is kind of all over the place.”
The 24-year-old Osaka did not play Wimbledon last year, amid her personal break that came after her discomfort in participating in post-match press conferences.