On Thursday, Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka, a former world No. 1 who was competing in Tokyo, withdrew from the competition, claiming abdominal pain as her reason.
The Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia was supposed to be the opponent for the 24-year-second-round old’s match, but she was forced to drop out of the competition. She explained that her “body does not allow him to defend his chances.”
According to a statement released by the organizers of the tournament, Osaka was quoted as saying that it was an honor to be able to compete in the Toray Pan Pacific Open in front of all of these incredible supporters in Japan.
“This tournament has always been and will continue to be a special event for me, and I would have liked to join the court today but my body does not allow me,” she continued, pledging to come back in 2023. “I would have liked to enter the court today but my body does not allow me.”
Osaka, currently ranked 48th in the world, is fighting a losing battle to get back to the level of play that allowed her to win four Grand Slam competitions. She withdrew from her opening match in Toronto on August 10 owing to back pain and then went on to be eliminated in the first round of both the Cincinnati tournament and the US Open in August.
Following the withdrawal of her opponent, the Australian Daria Saville, who was hurt on one knee, she also qualified for the second round of the Tokyo tournament, which she is the current champion of after winning the most recent edition, which was played in 2019, and which was held in Tokyo.
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