Tennis: Aryna Sabalenka pulls out of Paris Olympics citing health reasons

Berlin, June 17 (IANS) World number three Aryna Sabalenka has pulled out of the upcoming Paris Olympics citing health reasons and to focus on hard court tournaments. The 26-year-old defending Australian Open champion made a quarterfinal exit in last month's French Open after losing to Russian teenage Mirra Andreeva.

"Especially with all the struggles I've been struggling with the last months, I feel I have to take care of my health. It's too much for the scheduling and I made the decision to take care of my health," Sabalenka told reporters at the Berlin Ladies Open.

"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," the Belarusian added.

The upcoming Olympic tennis event marks a significant change as it shifts to clay courts for the first time since Barcelona in 1992. This transition means players will need to adjust from grass at Wimbledon to the clay at Roland Garros, followed by a return to North American hard courts.

The summer season includes consecutive WTA 1000 events in Toronto and Cincinnati on hard courts, leading up to the final Grand Slam of the year at the US Open, where Sabalenka reached the final last year.

Sabalenka, who is currently participating in the Berlin Ladies Open, will play against world no.14 Daria Kasatkina in the round of 16 on Tuesday.


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Title: Tennis: Aryna Sabalenka pulls out of Paris Olympics citing health reasons

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