Naomi Osaka, a two-time winner at the Australian Open, has officially pulled out of the tournament, adding her name to the increasing list of notable competitors who have withdrawn.
Naomi Osaka has not competed since September and it was a long shot for her to make her comeback at Melbourne Park after posting pictures on social media last week of her trip through Europe with her US rapper boyfriend, Cordae. Osaka has not played since September and it was a long shot for her to make her comeback at Melbourne Park.
Naomi Osaka has decided not to continue competing at the Australian Open. On Sunday, organisers from the Open tournament tweeted that they would miss her at #AO2023.
Naomi Osaka, who will defend her title at Melbourne Park in 2019 and 2021, visited the Mona Lisa and attended concerts before ostensibly returning to her headquarters in Los Angeles only a week ago; nevertheless, she has not exhibited any hint of Open preparation.
The fact that the 25-year-old failed to appear in Melbourne will only serve to increase the level of fear that the four-time winner of the Australian Open may never play tennis again. After withdrawing from the 2021 French Open due to mental health concerns, Osaka went on a break for mental health and later disclosed that she has been battling depression and anxiety for a number of years.
The Japanese player, who is now ranked 47th in the WTA, has not competed since she withdrew from the second round of a tournament in Tokyo last September due to stomach pain, and she has only one victory in a match that was finished since May of last year.
The woman who was once ranked one in the world was eliminated in the first round of her most recent three competitions, including the United States Open, which she had previously won twice. Osaka’s most recent victory was a shortened one; it came against Daria Saville after only one game due to the Australian’s ruptured anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) that she sustained in Tokyo.
Naomi Osaka decision to withdraw is yet another blow for Open organisers, who are still reeling from the retirements of Ash Barty, the reigning women’s champion, as well as Serena Williams and Roger Federer, two of the greatest tennis players of all time.
The number one player in the men’s game, Carlos Alcaraz, withdrew from the tournament on Saturday due to a hamstring injury. On Sunday, Serena Williams’ sister Venus, who has won seven grand slam titles, also suffered an injury while practising in Auckland and returned her wildcard.
Simona Halep, a former finalist at Melbourne Park who also spent a significant amount of time as the world’s best player, will not be competing this year. Due to Osaka’s withdrawal, the Ukrainian Dayana Yastremska has been moved up to compete in the main draw.
Ajla Tomljanovic, the number one player in Australia, would have normally benefited from Osaka’s decision to pull out of the Open. However, Tomljanovic still needs two of her higher-ranked competitors to quit before the draw on Thursday in order to be seeded.
But Naomi Osaka fall from grace has been so stunning that the former world No. 1 is currently ranked lower than Tomljanovic and is fighting to stay inside the top 50.
If Tomljanovic were to receive a seeding in her first major slam, it would guarantee that she would not face an opponent with a better ranking until at least the third round. Tomljanovic has previously reached the quarterfinals of both Wimbledon and the US Open.
Nick Kyrgios, who is ranked 22nd in the world, and Alex de Minaur, who is ranked 24th, are the only two Australians who are currently scheduled to be seeded for the first grand slam of the year.
Officials of the Kooyong Classic have not given up hope of luring Kyrgios to play in the Australian Open tune-up event despite the fact that they lost Alcaraz to an injury.
Dominic Thiem, a past champion at the US Open, has taken Alcaraz’s position. He joins the likes of fellow former runners-up at Melbourne Park in Andy Murray and Marin Cilic, as well as home hope Alex De Minaur.
In addition to Jannik Sinner and Borna Coric, the Czech Republic’s teen wonder Linda Fruhvirtova will be the player to watch in the women’s competition at the exhibition tournament that will take place over the course of three days beginning on Tuesday.
On the other hand, the tournament director, Peter Johnston, stated on Sunday that he would be more than happy to provide Kyrgios a match if the Australian maverick desired to try out his body prior to the start of the Open on January 16th.
Kyrgios cited a knee issue as the reason for his withdrawal from both the United Cup and the Adelaide International 2.
“We’re still keeping a candle lit for Nick,” Johnston said in an interview with the AAP. If he wants to get in a few swings before the Open, there is no better place for him to do so than this. Nick will always have a place in our hearts. Even though we already have a pretty formidable lineup, Novak (Djokovic) is more than welcome to join us.
On Sunday night, Djokovic was scheduled to compete against the up-and-coming American Sebastian Korda in the championship match of the Adelaide International before proceeding immediately to Melbourne.
The nine-time winner of the Australian Open intends to complete his preparations by participating in a series of practise sessions on Rod Laver Arena. The Serbian star has not suffered a loss on this court since his match against Hyeon Chung in the third round of the 2018 tournament.