Tennis players Victoria Azarenka and Angelique Kerber are the latest big names to opt out of the Tokyo Olympics, both announced on social media Thursday.
The No. 14-ranked Azarenka won a gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in mixed doubles and took bronze in singles.
"I have many amazing memories winning the gold while competing and representing Belarus in previous Games, but with all the challenges we are facing at it relates to the pandemic, I know in my heart this is the right decision for myself and team," she wrote. "I look forward to returning to the 2024 Olympic in Paris to represent Belarus!"
Kerber, who represents Germany and lost to Monica Puig in the 2016 Olympic final, said she needs rest.
"The thought of participating at the Olympics has been a constant motivation for me over the past months to push further and keep believing in my goals," the No. 22-ranked Kerber wrote. "Representing Germany in London 2012 and Rio 2016 as part of the German team has always been one of my favorite memories of my career so far. This makes is even more disappointing for me to accept the fact that my body needs rest after the intense few weeks that lie behind me and that I have to recover first before returning to competition later this summer!"
Puig, the surprise champion in Rio, will also miss the Tokyo Games as she recovers from shoulder surgery.
The Olympic tennis roster has been ravaged by opt-outs. Among the other stars confirmed to be sitting out are Serena Williams, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Dominic Thiem, while Novak Djokovic said after winning Wimbledon last weekend that he was "50/50" on playing at the Olympics.