Naomi Osaka withdraws from Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo on Thursday due to illness



CNN

Four-time grand slam champion Naomi Osaka withdrew from her second-round match against Beatriz Haddad Maia at the Pan Pacific Open on Thursday due to illness, ending her title defense at the tournament.

“I’m really sorry that I can’t compete today,” Osaka said in a statement to the WTA.

“It’s an honor to be able to play at the Toray Pan Pacific Open in front of the amazing fans here in Japan. This has and will always be a special tournament for me and I wish I could have stepped on the court today, but my body won’t let me. Thank you for all your support this week and I’ll see you next year”

The former world No. 1 was suffering from abdominal pain, Reuters reported, after advancing to the second round when her opponent Daria Saville suffered a knee injury.

Osaka has endured an injury-plagued season, failing to win more than one match in a single tournament since reaching the final of the Miami Open in April.

She withdrew from the semifinals of the Melbourne Summer Set 1 tournament in January with an abdominal injury, missed the entire grass court season with an Achilles injury and withdrew from her opening match at the Canadian Open with a back injury.

“This year was not the best year for me, but I learned a lot about myself,” Osaka told reporters before the start of the Pan Pacific Open.

“Life is ups and downs, and this year was more down than up, but overall I’m pretty happy with where I’m at right now.”

Due to her injury problems this year, Osaka went from world no.

“It was kind of hard at first, just because I feel like I need to be somewhere I’m obviously not at the moment,” she said.

“I think for me it’s more about peace with myself. I know I’m here for a reason.”

Haddad Maia now advances to the quarterfinals by walkover where she will face either Veronika Kudermetova or Fernanda Contreras Gómez.