Osaka pulls out of Australian Open warm-up with ‘niggle’
FILE PHOTO: Tennis – Yarra Valley Classic – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 5, 2021. Japan’s Naomi Osaka celebrates after winning her quarter final match against Romania’s Irina-Camelia Begu. REUTERS/Loren Elliott
MELBOURNE—Naomi Osaka pulled out of her Gippsland Trophy semifinal on Saturday with “a niggling injury” but said she looked forward to competing at the Australian Open which starts on Monday.
“Sorry to Tennis Australia and the fans to have to withdraw today,” Osaka said in statement tweeted by the WTA.
“I have a niggling injury and in light of the AO on the horizon, I need to be cautious. I look forward to competing next week.”
No.2 seed Naomi Osaka withdrew from her scheduled semifinal match against No.7 seed @elise_mertens at the Gippsland Trophy, giving the Belgian a spot in the final against @KanepiKaia –> https://t.co/b19IxFlmYU pic.twitter.com/WPAbjaxpxv
— wta (@WTA) February 6, 2021
The Japanese player, who won at Melbourne Park in 2019, is among the top contenders for the year’s first Grand Slam.
Osaka starts with a clash against former quarter-finalist Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
Belgian Elise Mertens has a walkover to the final of the Gippsland Trophy.
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