Naomi Osaka has officially pulled out of next month’s Indian Wells WTA 1000 event. No official reason was given for her withdrawal.
The 23-year-old Japanese player won her first WTA title at Indian Wells in 2018. “We look forward to seeing you in 2022, Naomi,” the tournament said on Twitter.
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Osaka has struggled on court since she withdrew from the French Open in May amid a row with tournament officials over required media appearances, which she said had a negative impact on her.
The four-time Grand Slam champion fell in the third round of the US Open and afterwards told reporters she needed the break.
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“This is very hard to articulate,” Osaka said after her shock defeat to Leylah Fernandez in New York.
“Basically I feel like I’m kind of at this point where I’m trying to figure out what I want to do, and I honestly don’t know when I’m going to play my next tennis match.”
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Osaka has slipped out of the top five in the world this week, dropping to No 8 in the WTA rankings.
Indian Wells has been rescheduled from its usual spot in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic and is set to feature most of the top players in the world.
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It will run from October 4 through October 17 and will be at full capacity.