Naomi Osaka pulls out of Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo due to illness on Thursday
Japan’s Naomi Osaka is pulled away at the end of her match with Simona Halep. (Getty Images)
Japan’s Naomi Osaka pulled out of the Pan Pacific Open on Thursday due to “soreness and pain” after a loss to Simona Halep at the Japan Open last week.
The Osaka-Halep semifinal was Osaka’s second major final and fourth final of 2018, making the 27-year-old No. 4 seed one of the most successful players in the Open era.
Halep beat Osaka in the semis last month, winning 7-6 (7-0), 6-4 in just 65 minutes. Osaka is the first Japanese player to reach the semis of any major since Kei Nishikori at the 2017 French Open.
“I had to come back home after being so confident on day one,” Osaka tweeted Thursday. “Thank you everyone for all your love and support.”
“I don’t think that [we] have lost, and there’s nothing to be upset about. And I’m just in a physical state.”
Her injury is just the latest issue for Osaka, who was forced to pull out of Wimbledon last October with a hip injury that required surgery. Osaka also pulled out of the US Open in July with a thigh strain that required surgery on the same day.
This time the problem is an Achilles tendon separation. While no major announcement is forthcoming, the Japanese player is likely to have surgery and miss the rest of the season.
For Osaka, the season begins in Sydney in January, when she will play her first tournament of the year for the Sydney International.
The 24-year-old Halep won her fourth career women’s singles title in Melbourne on Monday, beating Caroline Wozniacki in a five-set thriller. She was leading 3-1 in the third set, but then had to pull out due to stomach cramps. Halep will play the remainder of the tournament.
Osaka and Halep have been very close throughout their careers. They met in the semifinals of the 2016 French Open, where Osaka took the trophy but lost in just