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:
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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.
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.