The Australian Open, which begins on January 16 and was supposed to feature the two-time champion Naomi Osaka, has announced her withdrawal without providing further details. The Australian Open entry list included the name of the former world number one from Japan, but Osaka’s absence from the Adelaide and Hobart warm-up tournaments cast doubt on her ability to compete in the hardcourt championship.
A tweet from AO says: ‘Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from the Australian Open. We will miss her at #AO2023,’. ‘Dayana Yastremska moves into the main draw.’
Why did Naomi Osaka withdraw her name?
Osaka, who won Melbourne Park in 2019 and 2021, hasn’t competed on the WTA Tour since she withdrew from her match against Beatriz Haddad Maia in the second round of the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo in September due to illness.
She recently shared a collection of pictures from a trip she took to Europe with her boyfriend, rapper Cordae, back in October while he was on tour, despite the fact that her Instagram has been relatively quiet lately. Her resignation comes a day after Venus Williams, an American who has won seven Grand Slam titles, was forced to withdraw from the Australian Open due to injury, dealing the tournament’s organisers a double blow. Read More: Iga Swiatek Named the Polish Sports Personality of the Year
Concerns that the 25-year-old may never play tennis again will only grow as a result of his non-appearance in Melbourne. After skipping the 2021 French Open, Osaka took time for herself and later acknowledged that she had been battling depression and anxiety for a number of years.
Osaka has lost in the first round of her last three competitions due to poor play, including the US Open, the final grand slam of 2022, where she was defeated by Danielle Collins in straight sets.
A lot of stars will not be seen in the Australian Open 2023
To the dismay of the organisers, the decision to retire by Australian Open champion Ash Barty, along with Serena Williams and Roger Federer, means that a number of the sport’s biggest names will not compete in the season-opening slam. Carlos Alcaraz, the male US Open champion, is also unable to participate due to a leg injury. The Australian Open draw will take place on Thursday of next week.
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