US Open Champion Naomi Osaka pulled out of upcoming French Open due to hamstring injury. The 22-year-old Japan’s Osaka made the announcement on Thursday, September 18, 2020. She said that it is unfortunate for her to not be a part of French Open this year as her hamstring is sore. She added that there is not enough time for her to prepare as the two tournaments, US Open and French Open came close for her this year. Naomi Osaka’s withdrawal is a big blow to French Open as earlier World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty also withdrew her name due to Covid-19 concerns.
“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,” Osaka wrote on Twitter. “I wish the organizers and players all the best,” she added.
The French Open tournament will be held from September 27 to October 11 at Roland Garros after being shifted from its original May-June slot due to Covid-19 pandemic. Osaka and Barty’s absence at Garros is an improved opportunity for Serena Williams to create a record winning of 24th Grand Slam title if she chooses to play. 38-year-old Serena has already been pulled out of Italian Open with an Achilles issue which now opens more way for the American player to create a record. On the men’s side, the tournament will be missing Roger Federer as he is recovering from knee injury.
Naomi Osaka was last seen in US Open final with her left hamstring taped against Victoria Azarenka. The hard-fought US Open final made Osaka win her third Grand Slam title in New York. Throughout the tournament, she wore different masks carrying the name of a black American that made her hit headlines in New York for her commitment towards social justice causes and racial discrimination.