Naomi Osaka pulls out of Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo due to illness on Thursday
Naomi Osaka pulled out of the Pan Pacific Open on Thursday due to illness.
Naomi Osaka (C) of Japan and Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain compete in the Semi-Final match during day two of the WTA Finals at O2 Arena on 1 August 2018 in London. AFP/Getty Images
The Japanese star looked uncomfortable in her second-round match against Simona Halep, and although she put up a good fight, the 24-year-old suffered an excruciating left elbow injury that forced her to end her tournament prematurely.
Osaka is the second Top 10 player to withdraw from the tournament at Pan Pacific, which she joined Serena Williams as the second player to withdraw due to illness. The top-ranked Williams withdrew from the tournament after she suffered an oblique muscle injury in her semifinal against Angelique Kerber and will take a leave from her clay-court season with the hope of returning in three weeks. Osaka, who had not played a match since the start of the year, was scheduled to play on clay at the Estoril Open as part of the event’s tie-breaker.
“We are disappointed to have to withdraw from the tournament on Monday. My elbow was in pain, and the doctors said it would be best if my elbow was resting for four weeks,” Osaka said on Saturday.
“It was difficult to pull out of the tournament. It was a hard decision but I have nothing to lose besides putting in the time to get better and to come back stronger.”
Osaka is the third Japanese player to withdraw from the tournament following the withdrawal of Naomi Osaka in the second round and Takako Noguchi in the third.
“It was a very difficult decision as a player and as I am a mother to two children,” Osaka said after her exit. “But having nothing to lose also gave me time to take it easy in the future and enjoy more. Now I can return stronger and more ready for the year ahead.”
The withdrawal of Osaka and Noguchi means the number of Japanese women tennis players competing on the WTA Tour will fall to only one.
Japan’s only men’s singles player, Kei Nishikori