The 2021 Wimbledon Championships will be without two of the world’s best tennis stars after Naomi Osaka followed Rafael Nadal in withdrawing from the Grand Slam.
Osaka hit the headlines at the French Open after deciding to skip her media obligations, leading to a backlash from Roland Garros officials.
The world No 2 later pulled out of the tournament after winning her first-round match, insisting she needed to take some time away from the sport.
It wasn’t clear at the time whether Osaka would make her return to competitive action at this year’s Wimbledon.
But it’s now been confirmed that the Japanese tennis star will not take part at SW19.
“Naomi won’t be playing Wimbledon this year,” a statement read. “She is taking some personal time with friends and family.
“She will be ready for the Olympics and is excited to play in front of her home fans.”
Osaka’s withdrawal comes just hours after Nadal also announced he would not be taking part at Wimbledon.
The Spaniard missed out on his chance to win Grand Slam No 21 at the French Open, losing to Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals.
But, while Osaka is planning to be back in action at the Tokyo Olympics, Nadal insists he needs more time to look after his body.
“Hi all, I have decided not to participate at this year’s Championships at Wimbledon and the Olympic Games in Tokyo,” Nadal tweeted.
“It’s never an easy decision to take but after listening to my body and discuss it with my team I understand that it is the right decision.
“The goal is to prolong my career and continue to do what makes me happy, that is to compete at the highest level and keep fighting for those professional and personal goals at the maximum level of competition.
“The fact that there has only been 2 weeks between RG and Wimbledon, didn’t make it easier on my body to recuperate after the always demanding clay-court season.
“They have been two months of great effort and the decision I take is focused on looking at the mid and long term.
“Sport prevention of any kind of excess in my body is a very important factor at this stage of my career in order to try to keep fighting for the highest level of competition and titles.”