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Naomi Osaka withdraws from Australian Open following series of health setbacks

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Naomi Osaka withdrew from the Australian Open on Saturday just over a week until the tournament begins.

Osaka, 25, did not issue a statement on the reason behind her decision but it follows a recent rash of withdrawals due to injury last year. The former champion withdrew from Wimbledon in June over an injury to her Achilles, which was followed by forfeiting from the Toray Pan Pacific Open in September citing illness.

She had been set to play a second round match against Beatriz Haddad Maia at the September tournament when she spoke about the news in a press conference, according to the World Tennis Association.

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

Formerly ranked No.1 by the WTA, Osaka has won both the Australian and U.S. opens twice between 2018 to 2021. Osaka made headlines in May 2021 when she announced she would not compete at the French Open, citing anxiety over post-match press…

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