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Osaka Withdraws from French Open with Injury

Osaka Withdraws from French Open with Injury

Friday, 18 September, 2020 - 08:00
Naomi Osaka wins US Open. Reuters

Freshly crowned US Open champion Naomi Osaka pulled out of the French Open with a sore hamstring on Thursday, in a fresh blow to the coronavirus-hit Grand Slam which is already missing world number one Ashleigh Barty.


Japan's Osaka made the announcement just days after lifting her third major title behind closed doors at the US Open in New York, the first Grand Slam tournament possible since the pandemic.


"Unfortunately I won't be able to play the French Open this year," Osaka said in posts on Instagram and Twitter. "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 this year."


The French Open is due to start on September 27 at Roland Garros, rescheduled from earlier in the year because of the coronavirus pandemic.


The withdrawal of third-ranked Osaka means Roland Garros will be missing two of the world's top three, after reigning champion Barty said earlier this month that she wouldn't return to defend her title.


The Australian said she feared participation still carried health risks, and she had not been able to train with her coach because of the state border closures in her home country.


Osaka's announcement also came just hours after French Open organizers were forced to slash daily attendance from 11,500 to 5,000 as coronavirus cases surge in France.


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