Former medalists Victoria Azarenka and Angelique Kerber on Thursday turned the newest tennis stars to withdraw from the Tokyo Olympics.
Azarenka, 31, received a bronze medal for Belarus in singles and a gold in blended doubles on the 2012 Summer time Video games in London. Kerber, 33, received the silver in singles for Germany on the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Azarenka introduced her choice on Instagram, citing “challenges” with the COVID-19 pandemic. “I’ve many superb recollections profitable the gold whereas competing and representing Belarus in earlier Video games, however with all of the challenges we face because it pertains to the pandemic, I do know in my coronary heart that is the best choice for myself and staff,” Azarenka wrote.
“I stay up for returning to the 2024 Olympics in Paris to characterize Belarus! I want all my fellow athletes a protected, wholesome, and profitable Video games.” The previous World No. 1 has captured 21 WTA singles titles, together with back-to-back Australian Open championships in 2012 and 2013.
Kerber posted on Twitter that she wants a break for relaxation and restoration. “Representing Germany in London in 2012 and Rio 2016 … has all the time been considered one of my favourite recollections of my profession thus far,” she wrote. “This makes it much more disappointing for me to just accept the truth that my physique wants relaxation after the extreme few weeks that lie behind me and that I’ve to get better first earlier than returning to competitors later this summer time!
“Thanks on your help, as this has been a really tough choice for me. Good luck to all my fellow German athletes in Tokyo #TeamDeutschland, I’ll miss you.”
Additionally a former World No. 1, Kerber’s 13 profession WTA singles titles embody Grand Slam titles on the Australian Open (2016), U.S. Open (2016) and Wimbledon (2018).
Different stars who’re skipping the Summer time Video games in Japan embody Serena Williams, Bianca Andreescu, Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem.