PARIS: Japan’s Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from the upcoming French Open with a hamstring injury, she said on Thursday.

The 22-year-old had her left hamstring taped when she battled back against Victoria Azarenka in the US Open final in New York on Saturday to win her third Grand Slam title.

“Unfortunately, I won’t be able to play the French Open this year,” the world No.3 wrote on social media in a message she also posted in Japanese. “My hamstring is still sore so I won’t have time to prepare for the clay - these two tournaments came too close to each other for me this time. I wish the organizers and players all the best.”

The French Open will be held from Sept 27-Oct 11 after being moved from its usual late May-June slot due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The hamstring issue had prompted Osaka to withdraw from the final of the Western & Southern Open in the run-up to the US Open but it did not appear to hamper her at Flushing Meadows. Osaka made headlines in New York as much for her performances on court as for her commitment to social justice causes.

Published in Dawn, September 19th, 2020