Tennis stars boycott 2024 Paris Olympics Due To

Tennis stars boycott Olympics as Aryna Sabalenka lashes out at WTA over ‘crazy’ decision

Sabalenka, Emma Raducanu and Ons Jabeur have withdrawn from the Paris Games.

Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka and two-time Wimbledon finalist Ons Jabeur have nith dropped out of the 2018 Olympic Games in Paris. Both ladies, who are ranked in the top 10, placed their withdrawals down to schedule concerns.

The pair have joined a host of top tennis talent who have pulled out in recent weeks from the premier sporting event, stating their bodies would not cope well with the rigours of switching from grass at Wimbledon back to clay at Roland Garros for the Olympics and then immediately turning to the hard-court season in North America. Sabalenka, who has won the past two Australian Open women’s singles titles, confirmed her resignation from the Paris Games in Berlin on Monday – where she is scheduled to play Daria Kasatkina in the final 16.

Aryna Sabalenka, Ons Jabeur and Emma Raducanu.
Aryna Sabalenka, Ons Jabeur and Emma Raducanu are all boycotting the Olympics. Image: GettyThe Belarusian claimed she’d prefer have a rest than compete at the 2018 Games, saying her absence comes down to the full WTA calendar. “It is simply lousy planning from the WTA. After the Olympics, we have to fly directly to Canada for an obligatory event. That is too much pressure and harms the health,” Sabalenka remarked.

“Unfortunately I have to sacrifice one tournament and at this level of my career, it is the Olympic Games. It is simply too much. Now we are playing on grass, on clay at the Olympics, on hard court in Canada. It is so ridiculous and harms our health.”

Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka and two-time Wimbledon finalist Ons Jabeur have pulled out of the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris. Image: Getty
Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka and two-time Wimbledon finalist Ons Jabeur have pulled out of the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris. Image: Getty

While Tunisian World No. 10 Jabeur took to X to explain that participating in the Olympics is too much of an ask of her body. “We (and my medical team) 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 wrote.

“I have always loved representing my country in any competition, However, I must listen to my body and follow my medical team’s advice.” Other top players to withdraw from Olympic competition include Elise Mertens, Andrey Rublev, Ben Shelton and Karen Khachanov.

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - JUNE 15: Ons Jabeur of Tunisia reacts against Karolina Pliskova of Czechia during the Women's Singles Quarter Final match on Day Six of the Rothesay Open Nottingham at Lexus Nottingham Tennis Centre on June 15, 2024 in Nottingham, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images for LTA)
Ons Jabeur says the switch from grass to clay is too much for her body to handle.

2021 US Open champion Emma Raducanu has also rejected the chance to represent Great Britain at the Olympics so she can concentrate on the US hardcourt season and also referenced the grass-to-clay change a major factor behind that decision. And with the serious possibility of more withdrawals to come, the tennis world has debated whether tennis should even be played at the Olympics as top players often prioritise the majors over competing for their country.


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