Osaka Withdraws From Eastbourne International But Wimbledon ‘Not In Doubt’

Naomi Osaka won’t be competing at the 2024 Eastbourne International, but her Wimbledon participation is not in doubt.

The Japanese player wasn’t known as a player who ever played a full schedule because she skipped parts of both the clay and grass seasons semi-regularly. She mostly focused on hard courts, where she dominated, but that changed this year as her coach instructed her to play as much as possible.

The reason was simple: she wanted to get back to the level of her glory days, and the only way to do so was to play a lot of matches. With that, the former world no. 1 embarked on a new journey, which involved playing a lot of events.

One week ahead of Wimbledon, Osaka has played in 12 events so far, one more than in 2019, the most recent comparable year in terms of a ‘packed schedule.’ This demonstrates a clear intent, as per her coach’s instructions.

That schedule was supposed to include the WTA 500 tournament in Eastbourne, but she won’t be playing at the event as she withdrew in advance due to a ‘change in schedule,’ according to James Gray.

She has played at two grass events, totaling 4 matches so far, which is probably enough for her to prepare for Wimbledon. Grass isn’t a surface she knows well, but four matches should be enough for her to familiarize herself with it, not having to play one week prior to a major.

The last time she stood on a grass court before this year was in 2019 and four matches on grass is the most for her since 2018. There is also the fatigue factor because she has played a lot of tennis and took the chance to go early to London to ‘feel’ the courts there instead of competing in Eastbourne.

The withdrawal is not related to an injury, as her Wimbledon participation is not in doubt.


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