Osaka: “My hamstring is still sore so I won’t have enough time to prepare for the clay – these two tournaments came too close to each other for me”
Last Updated: 18/09/20 6:35am
US Open champion Naomi Osaka has pulled out of the French Open after suffering a hamstring injury.
The Japanese player won her second New York major on the weekend and had been scheduled to appear at the tournament beginning on September 27 in Paris.
In a statement posted to Twitter, the 22-year-old said: “Unfortunately I won’t be able to play at the French Open this year.
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) September 18, 2020
“My hamstring is still sore so I won’t have enough time to prepare for the clay – these two tournaments came too close to each other for me.”
The world No 3’s left hamstring was wrapped in tape when she beat Victoria Azarenka in the final in New York.
The French Open will be held from September 27-October 11 after being moved from its usual late May-June slot due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The hamstring issue had prompted Osaka to withdraw from the final of the Western & Southern Open in the run-up to the US Open but it did not appear to hamper her at Flushing Meadows.
Osaka made headlines in New York as much for her performances on court as for her commitment to social justice causes.
For each of her US Open matches, she wore a different mask that carried the name of a Black American victim of alleged police or racist violence in the US, aiming to highlight racial injustice in the country.
The withdrawal of Osaka, who has never advanced past the third round at Roland Garros, comes as another blow to the tournament after world No 1 Ash Barty of Australia said she would not be defending her title due to COVID-19 concerns.
Osaka’s announcement came just hours after the French Tennis Federation reduced the number of fans that will be allowed to attend the French Open due to the worsening coronavirus situation in the country.
The FFT announced earlier this month that 11,500 spectators a day would be admitted under strict conditions, but that has now been reduced to 5,000 as cases of Covid-19 continue to rise.
Conditions for the players are even more stringent than at Flushing Meadows, where there were no spectators.
They must stay in one of two tournament hotels – players in New York had the choice of staying in private accommodation – while they will only be allowed on site at Roland Garros on the days when they are playing matches.
Source : Sky Sports