Naomi Osaka will pull out of the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo on Thursday due to illness




CNN

Four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka withdrew from her second-round match against Beatriz Haddad Maia at the Pan Pacific Open on Thursday due to illness, ending her title defense at the tournament.

“I’m sorry I can’t compete today,” Osaka said in a statement to the WTA.

“It’s an honor to be able to play in the Toray Pan Pacific Open in front of the amazing fans in Japan. It was a special tournament and it will always be for me and I wish I could have stepped on the court today, but my body won’t let me. Thank you for your support this week and see you next year”

Reuters reported that the former world No. 1 was suffering from stomach pains after her opponent Daria Saville suffered a knee injury to advance to the second round.

Osaka has endured an injury-riddled season, failing to win more than one match in a single tournament since reaching the Miami Open final in April.

She withdrew from the semifinals of the Summer Set 1 tournament in Melbourne in January with an abdominal injury, missed the entire grass-court season with an Achilles injury and withdrew from the opening match of the Canadian Open with a back injury.

“This year hasn’t been the best year for me, but I’ve learned a lot about myself,” Osaka told reporters before the start of the Pan Pacific Open.

“Life is up and down, and this year has been more down than up, but in general I’m quite happy with where I am now.”

Due to injury problems this year, Osaka has dropped from world number 13 in January to world number 48 and has not won a Grand Slam since the 2021 Australian Open.

“It was hard at first because I feel like I should have been in a place where I’m not today,” he said.

“I think for me it’s more about being at peace with myself. I know I’m here for a reason.’

Haddad Maia will now advance to the quarter-finals, where she will face either Veronika Kudermetova or Fernanda Contreras Gómez.