Naomi Osaka pulled out of the semi-final of the WTA tournament in Melbourne on Saturday due to an abdominal injury.
Looking to defend her Australian Open crown later this month, Osaka was playing her first tournament since losing in the third round of US Open.
The Japanese former world No 1 withdrew from her Rod Laver Arena clash with Russian Veronika Kudermetova.
Sad to withdraw due to injury from my match today, my body got a shock from playing back to back intense matches after the break I took. Thank you for all the love this past week ❤️ I’ll try to rest up and I’ll see you soon!
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) January 8, 2022
“Sad to withdraw due to injury from my match today, my body got a shock from playing back-to-back intense matches after the break I took,” Osaka tweeted. “I’ll try to rest up and I’ll see you soon!”
Earlier, Osaka had issued a statement saying the 24-year-old had suffered an injury.
“I had a lot of fun playing here in Melbourne. Unfortunately, I have an abdominal injury which I need to rest and prepare for the Australian Open,” she said.
Playing in the WTA’s Summer Set 1, the four-time grand slam champion beat Germany’s Andrea Petkovic 6-1, 7-5 in the quarter-final on Friday.
Halep in final
Meanwhile, Simona Halep booked a spot in the Melbourne Summer Set 1 final with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Chinese teenager Zheng Qinwen.
It is the 13th consecutive season where she has reached a WTA singles final.