Concerns rise for Naomi Osaka withdrawing from Australian Open | Tennis

Two-time champion Naomi Osaka has officially withdrawn from the tournament. Australian OpenAdding to the growing list of big names casualties.

Osaka hasn’t played since September and has taken a long time to make a comeback at Melbourne Park after posting pictures of her trip to Europe with her US rapper boyfriend Cordae on social media last week.

«Naomi Osaka withdrew from the Australian Open. We will miss her in #AO2023,» Open officials tweeted on Sunday.

Osaka, champion at Melbourne Park in 2019 and 2021, took the Mona Lisa, gigs, and apparently only returned to its Los Angeles base last week and showed no signs of Open preparation.

The 25-year-old’s failure to return to Melbourne will further raise concerns that the four-time grand slam champion may never return to the courts. osaka took a mental health break He revealed that he had struggled with depression and anxiety for several years after and after sitting at the 2021 French Open.

The Japanese player, who dropped to 47th place in the WTA rankings, has not played since withdrawing from the second round last September due to abdominal pain in Tokyo and has won just one completed match since last May.

The former world No. 1 collapsed in the first round of his three previous events, including the US Open, where he won twice. Osaka’s final victory was a shortened one, coming after just one game when the Australian suffered a tear in the ACL against Daria Saville in Tokyo.

Itching is another blow to Open organizers, who have been stunned by the retiring and legends of reigning women’s champion Ash Barty last year. Serena Williams and Roger Federer.

Number 1 in the men’s world, Carlos Alcaraz, filmed on saturday Serena’s seven-time grand slam winner, Venus, suffered a knee injury before returning her wild card after being injured while training in Auckland.

Former Melbourne Park finalist and former No. 1 Simona Halep is also not competing this year. Ukrainian Dayana Yastremska advanced to the main draw in the absence of Osaka.

Osaka’s withdrawal would normally have been a boost for Australia’s No.1 player Ajla Tomljanovic, who needed two top-ranked opponents to qualify for the Open before next Thursday’s draw.

But Osaka’s decline has been so spectacular that the former world No. 1 has lagged behind Tomljanovic in the standings and is struggling to stay in the top 50.

A grand slam title for the first time will ensure that Tomljanovic, a Wimbledon and US Open quarterfinalist, will not face a higher-ranked opponent until at least the third round.

world number 22, Nick Kirgiosand 24th-placed Alex de Minaur are currently the only two Australians scheduled to seed for the first slam of the season.

Kooyong Classic officials have not given up hope of attracting Kyrgios to the Australian Open warm-up event after he injured Alcaraz.

Former US Open champion Dominic Thiem replaces Alcaraz, joining the likes of former Melbourne Park runners-up Andy Murray and Marin Cilic and hosts De Minaur.

Jannik Sinner and Borna Coric will also take part in the three-day exhibition event starting Tuesday, with Czech young sensational Linda Fruhvirtova playing the lead role in the women’s area.

But if Australian maverick Kyrgios wants to test his body ahead of the Open Tournament kicking off on 16 January, he’d be happy to find a wife for Kyrgios, tournament director Peter Johnston said on Sunday.

Kyrgios withdrew from United Cup and Adelaide International 2 citing a knee injury.

«We’re still holding a candle for Nick,» Johnston told AAP. “If he wants a hit before the opening, there’s no better setting for him. There’s always room for Nick. We already have a pretty solid squad, but Novak (Djokovic) might be welcome.»

Djokovic was due to face advanced American Sebastian Korda in the final of the Adelaide International on Sunday night before heading straight to Melbourne.

The nine-time Australian Open champion plans to wrap up his preparations with a series of practice sessions at Rod Laver Arena, where the Serbian star has not lost since his third-round loss to Hyeon Chung in 2018.

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