Naomi Osaka withdraws from Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo on Thursday due to illness



CNN

Four times Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka withdrew from her second-round match against Beatriz Haddad Maia at the Pan Pacific Open on Thursday due to illness, ending her title defense at the tournament.

“I’m really sorry that I can’t compete today,” Osaka said in a statement to the WTA.

“It’s an honor to be able to play the Toray Pan Pacific Open in front of amazing fans here in Japan. It has been and always will be a special tournament for me and I wish I could have stepped onto the court today, but my body won’t let me. Thank you for all your support this week and I’ll see you next year”

The former world number one. 1 was suffering from abdominal pain, Reuters reported, after reaching the second round when opponent Daria Saville suffered a knee injury.

Osaka has endured an injury-plagued season, having not won more than one match at a single tournament since reaching the Miami Open final in April.

She withdrew from the semi-finals of Melbourne’s Summer Set 1 tournament in January with an abdominal injury, missed the entire grass-court season with an Achilles tendon injury and is withdrawn from its opener at the Canadian Open due to a back injury.

Osaka was knocked out in the first round of the US Open last month.

“This year hasn’t been the best for me, but I’ve learned a lot about myself,” Osaka told reporters before the start of the Pan Pacific Open.

“Life is up and down, and this year has been more down than up, but overall I’m pretty happy with where I am now.”

Due to their injury problems this year, Osaka dropped from world number 1. 13 in January at world number. 48 years old and hasn’t won a Grand Slam tournament since the Australian Open 2021.

“It was a bit difficult at first, just because I feel like I should be somewhere where I’m obviously not right now,” she said.

“I think for me it’s more about being at peace with myself. I know I’m here for a reason.

Haddad Maia will now qualify for the quarter-finals without surprise where she will face Veronika Kudermetova or Fernanda Contreras Gómez.