Sabalenka Withdraws From Wimbledon Due To Shoulder Injury

Sabalenka Withdraws From Wimbledon Due To Shoulder Injury

by Nurein Ahmed

Aryna Sabalenka has not recovered from a shoulder injury that has plagued her grass-court campaign and has withdrawn from the 2024 Wimbledon Championships.

According to reports emanating from the All England Club, the Belarusian star abandoned his practice session on Monday just hours before her first-round match at the Championships.

The timing of the news is unexpected, although Sabalenka revealed during the pre-tournament press conference last weekend that she was not operating at 100% health-wise because of a shoulder injury.

She sustained the injury during her quarterfinal match in Berlin against Anna Kalinskaya and had to retire while trailing 1-5 in the first set. She was slated as the number three seed at this year's Wimbledon and priced as the Wimbledon favorite by the oddsmakers.

The 26-year-old was scheduled to face American World No. 107 Emina Bektas in the second match of the day on Court 1. But with her imminent withdrawal, she will be replaced in the main draw by Russian lucky loser Erika Andreeva, the older sister of Mirra Andreeva.

In a tweet shared by The Times correspondent Stuart Fraser, Sabalenka's shoulder is "not looking in good shape," and she "abruptly" left the practice court on match day.

"Aryna Sabalenka just left the practice court rather abruptly. The shoulder not looking in good shape ahead of her first round match later this afternoon."

Reputable tennis journalist Stuart Fraser tweeted on X

Tennis fans speculated the worst about this development when it was confirmed that Sabalenka left practice earlier than she intended. Now, her withdrawal is official. It is a significant blow for Sabalenka, who could be overtaken by Elena Rybakina in the rankings at the end of the fortnight.

It's also a drastic turnaround considering that the Belarusian practiced with Ons Jabeur on Centre Court in the build-up to Wimbledon and did not show any physical discomfort. But she immediately issued a statement to explain that her shoulder was not healed.

"Heartbroken to have to tell you all that I won't be able to play at The Championships this year. I tried everything to get myself ready, but unfortunately, my shoulder is not cooperating."

Sabalenka shared on her Instagram stories

"I pushed myself to the limit in practice today to try my best, but my team explained that playing would only make things much worse. This tournament means so much to me and I promise I'll be back stronger than ever next year."

Since the 2022 US Open, Sabalenka has made the quarterfinals or better at every Grand Slam tournament she has competed in. She won the Australian Open in back-to-back seasons (2023 and 2024) and was runner-up at last year's US Open.


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