Naomi Osaka Withdraws from Australian Open Tune-Up with Abdominal Injury

Adam WellsJanuary 8, 2022

Naomi Osaka of Japan plays a forehand during their singles match against Andrea Petkovic of Germany at Summer Set tennis tournament ahead of the Australian Open in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, Jan. 7, 2022. (AP Photo/Hamish Blair)
AP Photo/Hamish Blair

Naomi Osaka's first WTA tournament appearance since September came to an abrupt end because of an injury. 

Osaka announced on Twitter she had to withdraw from the Melbourne Summer Set 1 in Australia after her victory over Andrea Petkovic. 

NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ @naomiosaka

Sad to withdraw due to injury from my match today, my body got a shock from playing back to back intense matches after the break I took. Thank you for all the love this past week ❤️ I’ll try to rest up and I’ll see you soon!

In a separate statement issued by Tennis Australia (h/t ESPN.com), Osaka said she was dealing with an abdominal injury and that she needs to "rest and prepare for the Australian Open."

After losing to Leylah Fernandez in the third round at the U.S. Open, Osaka said she wanted to take time away from the court. 

"I feel like for me, recently, when I win, I don’t feel happy, I feel more like a relief. And then when I lose, I feel very sad," she told reporters. "This is very hard to articulate. Basically, I feel like I’m kind of at this point where I’m trying to figure out what I want to do, and I honestly don’t know when I’m going to play my next tennis match."

Osaka posted a video of herself practicing on the court on Dec. 9:

NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ @naomiosaka

<a href="https://t.co/PENgl7kthn">pic.twitter.com/PENgl7kthn</a>

The WTA announced on Dec. 14 that Osaka would be competing in the Melbourne Summer Set. The event is generally a tune-up for the Australian Open.

Osaka defeated Alize Cornet, Maryna Zanevska and Petkovic in the first three rounds of the Melbourne tournament. She won each of her last two matches in straight sets. 

This injury does put her status for the Australian Open in doubt. The season's first Grand Slam tournament begins on Jan. 17 at Melbourne Park. 

Osaka is the defending Australian Open champion. The 24-year-old defeated Jennifer Brady in last year's final to win the tournament for the second time in her career.