Ons Jabeur is the latest to bow out of the Olympics, and more could follow

Tennis's top stars continue to signal that the surface change and schedule make the Olympics a tough task
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The top players in professional tennis continue to bow out of the Paris Olympics, and tennis fans should not be surprised if this trend continues in the coming days. Three-time Olympian, Ons Jabeur, who participated in the 2012, 2016, and 2020 Olympics, is the latest to announce she is skipping Paris.

In addition to Jabeur, Ben Shelton, Paula Badosa, Emma Raducanu, and Aryna Sabalenka are not playing. Olympic tennis teams must be finalized by June 19 so more players could announce a similar decision soon.

These top players are signaling to the ATP and WTA that in addition to their tour commitments, Olympic competition is too much for their physical, mental, and emotional health. Olympic competition is not rewarded with ranking points so switching surfaces at an awkward juncture in the season does not make sense for them. Except for Shelton, all players who announced they are skipping the Olympics have dealt with injuries in the past year. Badosa and Raducanu spent most of 2023 recovering from major physical issues, and Jabeur has dealt with a knee injury for a couple of years. Sabalenka has recently suffered from back issues.

Predicting other tennis players who might skip the Paris Olympics

Tennis players should not be criticized for skipping the Olympics. They play a long season and have international team play opportunities built into the calendar every year including but not limited to the United Cup and Billie Jean King Cup.

Other players who could potentially announce they are skipping the Olympics (in my opinion) could be Elena Rybakina and Frances Tiafoe. Rybakina won her 2022 Wimbledon title when the tournament did not assess ranking points so she understands the impact of winning an event that does not boost her ranking.

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Tiafoe fell on the court and suffered a hip injury during his match in Queens on Monday so hopefully it is not severe and limits him for the Olympics or the rest of the year.

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