Four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka has revealed she will be playing mixed doubles at Wimbledon.
Osaka made the announcement following her second round defeat to Sara Sorribes Tormo at the Madrid Open.
She lost 6-3, 6-1 to the Spaniard after struggling with pain in her achilles.
“I felt something in my achilles after my last match, and I wasn’t really able to hit yesterday because I wanted it to go away,” Osaka said.
“Honestly, I probably should have been a bit smarter about the whole way that I went through everything.
“I felt it again today and I tried to take an ibuprofen [during the match] but I probably should have taken it way sooner than I did. But, yeah, I’m sure it will be fine.”
During the Madrid Open, Osaka unveiled an improved net game, particularly on her backhand side.
“So I have been really trying to focus on my net game because I’m going to play mixed doubles in Wimbledon,” she said. “I know, shocking, right? I’m shocked too.
“I really don’t want to disappoint the person I’m playing with, because whenever I play doubles I always say, ‘Sorry.’ I’m going to try not to be a liability.”
The Japanese star declined to tell reporters who she would be playing mixed doubles with, however.
“If this person sees it and they want to respond, they can do that, but I don’t know, isn’t it more fun to kind of see it when it’s around the time? I’m pretty sure if you wanted to guess you could guess who it is.”
Osaka has been inconsistent since returning to the court after a four month break.
The former world number one stepped away from tennis after crashing out of the US Open in the third round in September, citing mental health struggles. As a result, she fell down the WTA rankings and now sits at world number 36.
Osaka triumphed in her first three matches of 2022, dropping just one set while playing at the Melbourne Summer Set.
She then lost in the third round of the Australian Open, before exiting Indian Wells in the second round. Osaka then reached the final of the Miami Open, losing to Iga Świątek.