New blow for the Australian Open tennis which should start in barely a week. After the package in the men’s table of the world number 1, the Spaniard Carlos Alvaraz – injured his leg – the first major of the season loses the Japanese star Naomi Osaka.
“Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from the Australian Open. She will be missed at AO2023”, announced the tournament on Twitter. No reason for the former world number one’s withdrawal has been given.
American Venus Williams will also not be in the game after being injured last week at the WTA tournament in Auckland.
Champion in Melbourne in 2019 and 2021, Osaka has not played a competitive match since withdrawing from a tournament in Tokyo in September following abdominal pain and tumbled to the 42e position in the world rankings.
A very difficult year 2022
The four-time Grand Slam winner has previously opened up about her mental health issues and has spent all of 2022 outside the top 10, suffering first-round defeats at Roland Garros and the US Open. She withdrew from Wimbledon due to an Achilles heel injury.
Speaking at the Pan Pacific Open in September, the 25-year-old admitted to going through “more down than up” in 2022. “This year has not been the best for me, but I have learned a lot about myself”she said.
According to reports from Australia last week, Tennis Australia has been unable to find out her whereabouts. Her social media accounts indicated that she traveled to Europe with her boyfriend, American rapper Cordae.