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.
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.
“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.”
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.
It will run from October 4 through October 17 and will be at full capacity.