BREAKING: 'Heartbroken' Aryna Sabalenka withdraws just before Wimbledon 1R match

Sabalenka pulls out of her Wimbledon first-round match due to a shoulder injury.

by Dzevad Mesic
BREAKING: 'Heartbroken' Aryna Sabalenka withdraws just before Wimbledon 1R match
© Aryna Sabalenka - Mike Hewitt

Aryna Sabalenka has just announced some heartbreaking news as the two-time Grand Slam champion is withdrawing from Wimbledon due to a shoulder injury.

Today, No. 3 seed Sabalenka was scheduled to take on world No. 107 Emina Bektas in the Wimbledon first round. But unfortunately for the 26-year-old Belarusian, she won't be making her sixth Wimbledon appearance this year as Bektas will play against a lucky loser today. 

Around an hour ago, it was reported that Sabalenka hit the practice court before leaving it abruptly. That instantly raised concerns that a withdrawal was a real possibility and exactly that just happened. 

Aryna Sabalenka
Aryna Sabalenka© Aryna Sabalenka - Shaun Botterill

In her message, two-time Wimbledon semifinalist Sabalenka said she wanted to play but was told that playing in these circumstances could only make her shoulder injury worse than it is now. 

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

Aryna Sabalenka message
Aryna Sabalenka message© Aryna Sabalenka - Instagram

Sabalenka indicated that this could happen

Two weeks ago in Berlin, Sabalenka won her opening match before retiring injured to Anna Kalinskaya in the quarterfinal. And over the weekend, the former world No. 1 described it as a super rare shoulder injury in tennis. 

“It’s teres major. Like, shoulder. For someone who doesn’t speak very well English, I call it just shoulder injury. It’s really a specific injury, and it’s really a rare one. Probably I’m just the second or the third tennis player who injured that muscle," Sabalenka said on Saturday during her pre-tournament press conference.

In the presser, Sabalenka also directly told the media that she may not be able to play. 

For Sabalenka but also the Wimbledon organizers, this is a brutal thing considering that she would have been one of the top contenders for the titles. 

Aryna Sabalenka Wimbledon