US Open champ Naomi Osaka to skip French Open

Naomi Osaka has pulled out of the French Open due to a sore hamstring

Naomi Osaka

US Open champion Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from the French Open as she is still recovering from a hamstring injury.

Osaka, who had pulled out of the final of the Western & Southern Open in New York due to the hamstring problem, played the entire US Open with a taped thigh.

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“Unfortunately, I won’t be able to play the French Open this year,” Osaka posted on Twitter on Thursday.

“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.

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“I wish the organisers and players all the best.”

The World No 3 had battled from a set and break down against Victoria Azarenka in the US Open final to win her third major and second title in three years at Flushing Meadows.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the French Open was moved from its usual May-June spot and will be played from September 27 to October 11 this year.

Osaka is the second high-profile women’s player to withdraw from Roland Garros, after World No 1 and reigning French Open champion Ashleigh Barty said that she would not be travelling to Europe due to health and safety concerns.

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Clay is not the 22-year-old Osaka’s most proficient surface — she has never gone past the third round at the French Open.

On the men’s side, Roger Federer will not compete as he continues to recover from knee surgery.

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Meanwhile, the French Tennis Federation (FFT) said on Thursday it would allow 5,000 spectators per day following a recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the country.

It had previously said the clay-court major would permit a maximum of 11,500 fans per day.

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Fans will now be allowed only at the main show court– Court Philippe Chatrier.