Naomi Osaka Retires from 1st-Round Match at National Bank Open with Back Injury

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIAugust 9, 2022

TORONTO, ONTARIO - AUGUST 09: Naomi Osaka of Japan in action against Kaia Kanepi of Estonia during her first round match on Day 4 of the National Bank Open, part of the Hologic WTA Tour, at Sobeys Stadium on August 09, 2022 in Toronto, Ontario (Photo by Robert Prange/Getty Images)
Robert Prange/Getty Images

Four-time Grand Slam singles champion Naomi Osaka retired from her first-round match against Kaia Kanepi at the National Bank Open in Toronto on Tuesday because of a back injury.

Osaka spoke afterward:

WTA Insider @WTA_insider

Naomi Osaka after retiring with back injury: “I felt my back from the start of the match, and despite trying my best to push through it I just wasn’t able to today. I’d like to pay credit to Kaia for playing well and want to wish her all the best for the rest of the tournament.”

Kanepi won 7-6 (4), 3-0 following the walkover.

Osaka called for a medical timeout down 4-3 and a break in the first set. She rallied back to earn a tiebreaker but fell to Kanepi, who will now face Garbine Muguruza in the second round.

Osaka has suffered numerous injuries in 2022 that have forced her off the court.

An abdominal injury led to a withdrawal from the Melbourne Summer Set.

She also withdrew from the Italian Open after suffering a left Achilles injury during a first-round win at the Madrid Open two weeks earlier.

Osaka ended up playing through the injury at the French Open but lost in the first round. She announced in June that her Achilles wasn't in good enough shape for her to play in Wimbledon.

NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ @naomiosaka

my Achilles still isn’t right so I’ll see you next time 🥹🌱👋🏾 <a href="https://t.co/mryWdKnitN">pic.twitter.com/mryWdKnitN</a>

Osaka is a two-time Australian Open champion and two-time U.S. Open winner who served 25 weeks as the World No. 1 in 2019. She finished third in the year-end WTA rankings in 2018 and 2019. Osaka won at Indian Wells in 2018 and the China Open in 2019.