Naomi Osaka Pulls Out of French Open

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Naomi Osaka, recent off her win at america Open tennis event final week, introduced Thursday night time that she wouldn’t compete within the French Open this month due to an injured hamstring.

“My hamstring is still sore so I won’t have enough time to prepare for the clay — these 2 tournaments came too close to each other for me this time,” Ms. Osaka, 22, wrote in a message posted on Twitter. “I wish the organizers and players all the best.”

Osaka, who rose to No. 3 within the rankings this week, injured her left hamstring throughout the Western & Southern Open, the event in New York that preceded the U.S. Open. She withdrew from the ultimate however was capable of handle the harm throughout the Open by skipping hitting periods on her days off between matches. She performed every of her seven rounds with the left hamstring tightly taped.

After successful the title on Saturday, she expressed uncertainty about having the ability to play within the French Open, the ultimate Grand Slam of 2020, which is scheduled to start in Paris on Sept. 27.

“I haven’t gotten a full rest,” she mentioned on Saturday. “I guess I’ll see what happens or how it feels when I get a rest.”

The issue is that there’s little time this 12 months to relaxation between main tournaments. The French Open was moved from its normal dates in Might and June due to excessive charges of coronavirus an infection in France. The shift left solely 13 days between the tip of the U.S. Open and the beginning of the French Open, which gave those that superior to the later rounds in New York little time to get better.

Some have plunged again into competitors instantly. Victoria Azarenka, who misplaced to Osaka within the U.S. Open ultimate, is already in Rome, the place she has received two rounds on the Italian Open and defeated Sofia Kenin, the reigning Australian Open champion, by 6-0, 6-0 on Thursday.

The transition from laborious courts to clay could be a problem for some gamers, requiring completely different footwork and ways. Osaka’s greatest outcomes have come on laborious courts, together with her three Grand Slam singles titles: on the U.S. Open in 2018 and 2020 and on the 2019 Australian Open. She has but to advance previous the third spherical on the French Open in singles in 4 appearances and has a middling 18-14 singles report on clay.

With Osaka’s withdrawal, two of the highest three gamers on the planet are out of the French Open. No. 1 Ashleigh Barty, an Australian, already has withdrawn due to issues about touring throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Bianca Andreescu, ranked No. 7, is unlikely to play due to a foot harm.

The French Open may even be lacking extra spectators than anticipated. On Thursday, event organizers introduced that they had been scaling again preliminary plans to host 11,500 followers per day due to new police restrictions linked to adjustments in coronavirus an infection charges within the Paris area. Now, solely 5,000 followers can be permitted every day and solely on the primary Philippe Chatrier court docket, which has a traditional capability of over 15,000.

Through the U.S. Open, Osaka centered consideration on systemic racism, sporting seven black face masks with white letters spelling the names of Black individuals who had been killed by the police or by civilians.

“The point is to make people start talking,” Osaka mentioned on the awards ceremony, which, just like the event itself, was carried out with out followers within the stadium due to the coronavirus.

“The quarantine definitely gave me a chance to think about a lot of things, what I want to accomplish, what I want people to remember me by,” Osaka mentioned. “I think it definitely helped me out.”

Osaka received her first Grand Slam title in 2018 on the U.S. Open however accepted the highest award amid jeers from the gang at Arthur Ashe Stadium. In that ultimate, she had defeated Serena Williams in a straight-sets match throughout which Williams clashed with a chair umpire who referred to as three code-of-conduct violations towards Williams.

The group, unclear on the foundations and upset on the remedy of Williams, booed throughout the awards ceremony.

Azi Paybarah contributed reporting.

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