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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Monday June 17, 2024

Aryna Sabalenka

A pair of Top-10 players have opted out of this year's Olympic Games in Paris.

Photo Source: AP

World No.3 Aryna Sabalenka has chosen not to participate in this year’s Olympic Games in Paris.

The 25-year-old two-time Grand Slam champion told reporters that she has elected to rest up for the hard court season rather than return to Paris to play on the clay after Wimbledon.

Tennis Express

Sabalenka has had health issues this season, including a nagging back injury and an illness that led to her loss to Mirra Andreeva in the quarterfinals at Roland-Garros last week.

"Especially with all the struggles I've been struggling with the last months, I feel I have to take care of my health," Sabalenka said at media day on Monday. "It's too much for the scheduling and I made the decision to take care of my health."

"I prefer to have a little rest to make sure physically and health-wise I'm ready for the hard courts, and I'll have a good preparation before going to the hard court season. I feel that this is safer and better for my body."

Sabalenka said her decision was based more on her body, and less on the fact that the Olympic tennis event will be played on clay for the first time since 1992.

“It's not about the surface, it's about the month of tournaments, the amount of opportunities that I have on a grass court,” she said.

Ons Jabeur and Emma Raducanu have opted out of the Olympics as well.

Like Sabalenka, Jabeur wants to protect her body. The Tunisian has been dealing with a nagging right knee issue on and off this season.

"After consulting with my medical team regarding attending the Olympics in Paris, we have decided that the quick change of surface and the body's adaptation required would put my knee at risk and jeopardize the rest of my season," Jabeur posted on X on Monday. "Unfortunately, I will not be able to participate in the 2024 Paris Olympics.”

Raducanu could have availed herself of a wild card available to former Grand Slam champions, but has instead opted to decline, saying she does not plan to participate in Paris.

In other news, Naomi Osaka and Caroline Wozniacki have both been confirmed by their respective federations.

The ITF will release the full list of Olympic singles and doubles entries on July 4.


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