In a recent development, two-time champion Naomi Osaka pulled out of the opening Grand Slam of 2023. The same has been confirmed by the organisers of the event. A tweet shared on the tournament’s verified Twitter handle read: “Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from the Australian Open. We will miss her at #AO2023 💙.”
No reason for the decision taken by the Japanese Tennis ace was cited in this announcement by Australian Open. This is another setback for the competition which was already supposed to go ahead without world number one men’s singles star Carlos Alcaraz who withdrew on Friday with a right leg injury.
In addition, American tennis star Venus Williams will also not be present for this tournament after she sustained an injury at the Auckland Classic.
Osaka Out Of Action Since September 2021
It is worth highlighting that the the final torchbearer of the Olympic Torch Relay at the 2020 Games in Tokyo, Osaka, has not played a single competitive match after she withdrew her name from a tournament in Tokyo in September 2021 owing to abdominal pain. Consequently, she has slumped to the 42nd number in the ATP Rankings.
The four-time Grand Slam champion has also talked about mental health issues as she spent the entire 2022 outside of the top 10 in the rankings. A disappointing season for her, saw the 25-year-old make a first-round exit at both the French and the US Open while she withdrew from the Wimbledon with an Achilles’ injury.
She emerged as the champion in Melbourne in 2019 and 2021. But she spoke about how the last year was more about downs rather than ups for her.
The Australian Open 2023 is all set to commence on January 16. The tournament will culminate on January 29. While the Men’s Singles Final is scheduled on January 29, the women’s singles final is slated to be played on January 28.