US Open 2020 champion, Naomi Osaka, won’t feature in this year’s French Open tournament beginning on 27 September in Paris after suffering a hamstring injury.
The 22-year-old had her left hamstring taped as she battled to victory against Victoria Azarenka in the US Open final in New York on Saturday to win her third Grand Slam title.
In a Twitter post from the star, she tweets: “Unfortunately I won’t be able to play at the French Open this year.
“My hamstring is still sore so I won’t have enough time to prepare for the clay – these two tournaments came too close to each other for me.”
“I wish the organizers and players all the best.”
The hamstring issue made Osaka withdraw from the final of the Western & Southern Open in the run-up to the US Open even but it did not prove worrying for her at Flushing Meadows.
Osaka, as well as leading on the court, also made headlines for her stand against racial injustice.
She wore a different mask that carried the name of Black American men, women, and children wrongfully killed, aiming to highlight racial injustice in the United States to a wider audience.
The withdrawal of Osaka comes as another blow to the tournament after world number one Ash Barty of Australia cited COVID-19 concerns for her withdrawal from defending her title.
On the men’s side, Roger Federer will not compete as he continues to recover from knee surgery.
Osaka’s absence, however, could improve Serena Williams’s chances of winning a record-tying 24th Grand Slam title if the American chooses to play. The 38-year-old has pulled out of the Italian Open with an Achilles issue.
Osaka’s announcement also came just hours after the French Tennis Federation reduced the number of fans that will be allowed to attend the French Open due to the worsening coronavirus situation in the country.
The FFT has now reduced the number of fans allowed to 5,000 from the initial 11,500 as cases of Covid-19 continue to rise.
Conditions for the players are even more stringent than at Flushing Meadows, where there were no spectators.
They must stay in one of two tournament hotels – players in New York had the choice of staying in private accommodation – while they will only be allowed on-site at Roland Garros on the days when they are playing matches.