Sports

Naomi Osaka Pulls Out of French Open

Naomi Osaka, contemporary off her win on the United States Open tennis match final week, introduced Thursday evening that she wouldn’t compete within the French Open this month as a result of of an injured hamstring.

“My hamstring is still sore so I won’t have enough time to prepare for the clay — these 2 tournaments came too close to each other for me this time,” Ms. Osaka, 22, wrote in a message posted on Twitter. “I wish the organizers and players all the best.”

Osaka, who rose to No. three within the rankings this week, injured her left hamstring in the course of the Western & Southern Open, the match in New York that preceded the U.S. Open. She withdrew from the ultimate however was capable of handle the harm in the course of the Open by skipping hitting periods on her days off between matches. She performed every of her seven rounds with the left hamstring tightly taped.

After profitable the title on Saturday, she expressed uncertainty about with the ability to play within the French Open, the ultimate Grand Slam of 2020, which is scheduled to start in Paris on Sept. 27.

“I haven’t gotten a full rest,” she stated on Saturday. “I guess I’ll see what happens or how it feels when I get a rest.”

The downside is that there’s little time this yr to relaxation between main tournaments. The French Open was moved from its common dates in May and June as a result of of excessive charges of coronavirus an infection in France. The shift left solely 13 days between the tip of the U.S. Open and the beginning of the French Open, which gave those that superior to the later rounds in New York little time to get better.

Some have plunged again into competitors instantly. Victoria Azarenka, who misplaced to Osaka within the U.S. Open remaining, is already in Rome, the place she has gained two rounds on the Italian Open and defeated Sofia Kenin, the reigning Australian Open champion, by 6-0, 6-Zero on Thursday.

The transition from laborious courts to clay could be a problem for some gamers, requiring totally different footwork and ways. Osaka’s finest outcomes have come on laborious courts, together with her three Grand Slam singles titles: on the U.S. Open in 2018 and 2020 and on the 2019 Australian Open. She has but to advance previous the third spherical on the French Open in singles in 4 appearances and has a middling 18-14 singles file on clay.

With Osaka’s withdrawal, two of the highest three gamers on the planet are out of the French Open. No. 1 Ashleigh Barty, an Australian, already has withdrawn as a result of of considerations about touring in the course of the coronavirus pandemic. Bianca Andreescu, ranked No. 7, is unlikely to play as a result of of a foot harm.

The French Open will even be lacking extra spectators than anticipated. On Thursday, match organizers introduced that they had been scaling again preliminary plans to host 11,500 followers per day as a result of of new police restrictions linked to modifications in coronavirus an infection charges within the Paris area. Now, solely 5,000 followers might be permitted every day and solely on the principle Philippe Chatrier courtroom, which has a traditional capability of over 15,000.

During the U.S. Open, Osaka targeted consideration on systemic racism, sporting seven black face masks with white letters spelling the names of Black individuals who had been killed by the police or by civilians.

“The point is to make people start talking,” Osaka stated on the awards ceremony, which, just like the match itself, was carried out with out followers within the stadium as a result of of the coronavirus.

“The quarantine definitely gave me a chance to think about a lot of things, what I want to accomplish, what I want people to remember me by,” Osaka stated. “I think it definitely helped me out.”

Osaka gained her first Grand Slam title in 2018 on the U.S. Open however accepted the highest award amid jeers from the group at Arthur Ashe Stadium. In that remaining, she had defeated Serena Williams in a straight-sets match throughout which Williams clashed with a chair umpire who known as three code-of-conduct violations towards Williams.

The crowd, unclear on the foundations and upset on the remedy of Williams, booed in the course of the awards ceremony.

Azi Paybarah contributed reporting.

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