Naomi Osaka forced to withdraw from Tokyo as title defence ends early
Naomi Osaka endured more bad luck as she was forced to withdraw from the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo.
The four-time major winner is attempting to rebuild her career after recent struggles with mental health and poor form.
She was hopeful a partisan home crowd in her favour could provide the catalyst for that as she sought to defend the title she won in her homeland last year.
However, abdominal pain forced her to withdraw before her scheduled second-round match against Beatriz Haddad Maia.
“I am really sorry that I am not able to compete today,” Naomi Osaka explained.
“It’s an honour to be able to play at the Toray Pan Pacific Open in front of the amazing fans here in Japan.
“This has and always will be a special tournament for me and I wish I could have stepped on court, but my body won’t let me. I will see you next year.”
Ironically, Osaka was in the second round due to her first opponent in the tournament, Daria Saville, injuring her knee in a fall that the Japanese star admitted left her ‘really scared.’
Osaka’s problem is thought to be more a passing illness than muscular, though, so a lengthy absence seems unlikely.
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