After the US Open 2020, all eyes were on Naomi Osaka. Fans wondered whether she could recover quickly and adjust to clay in such a short span of time. However, the US Open champion has withdrawn from the French Open 2020, less than a week after her title win.
The Japanese star cited a hamstring issue as the reason for her inability to practice on clay, in time for the French Open that starts on Monday. For the first time this year, the French Open and the US Open were scheduled so close to each other as tennis returned in the coronavirus pandemic era.
Not enough time to recover for Naomi Osaka
“Unfortunately I won’t be able to play the French Open this year,” Osaka said on Twitter. “My hamstring is still sore so I won’t have enough time to prepare for the clay — these 2 tournaments came too close to each other for me this time. I wish the organizers and players all the best,” she added.
She concluded her message with some good news for her fans. “Miss you guys but you’ll see me sooner than later,” Osaka said.
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) September 18, 2020
Earlier, Naomi Osaka pulled out of the ongoing Italian Open 2020 as well. She does not have as good a record on clay as she does on hard courts. Osaka’s best result at the French Open is a third-round appearance.
Last year at the French Open, Osaka lost 4-6, 2-6 in the third round to Katerina Siniakova. In the second round, she defeated her US Open 2020 finals opponent, Victoria Azarenka, in a tough three-set battle. She lost the opening set on the day but came back strongly to win 4-6, 7-5, 6-3.
Stellar run on the hard courts
A similar occurrence took place in the US Open final this year. Osaka lost the first set 6-1 but stormed back to win 1-6, 6-3, 6-3. Her hamstring issues troubled her at the US Open as well as she was seen with strapping on her legs in various matches.
The US Open also helped her regain the third spot in the WTA rankings. She is on a 12-match unbeaten streak, despite finishing runner-up at the Western and Southern Open 2020. She pulled out from the final there due to injury issues.