Defending champion Naomi Osaka withdrew from the Toray Pan Pacific Open ahead of her second round match due to illness. It was the last failure of a difficult season for her.
“I’m sorry I can’t compete today.” – Osaka says in the statement. “I am honored to be able to play the Toray Pan Pacific Open in front of the amazing fans here in Japan. This tournament has been and will always be special to me and I would love to be on the court today but my body won’t let me. Thank you for your support this week, see you next year.”
This season was supposed to be a comeback for Osaka, who withdrew from last year’s French Open after facing “huge waves of anxiety” and then missing the entire grass court season. However, this year the four-time Grand Slam champion suffered a lot of injuries and therefore missed a significant number of matches this season. She injured her left Achilles during the Madrid Open and had to leave the National Bank of Toronto last month with a back injury.
During a media appearance ahead of the Torah Pan Pacific Open, Osaka said that she was grateful to finally be healthy and that she was trying to make the most of the situation because she had a lot of ups and downs this year.
“Of course, I think this year was not the best for me, but in general I learned a lot about myself,” she said earlier this week.
Osaka won the 2019 Toray Pan Pacific Open by beating Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-2, 6-3. The tournament was canceled for the next two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, the Japanese star made it through the first round after Daria Savil retired with a knee injury. Beatrice Haddad Maya, Osaka’s opponent in the second round, advances to the quarter-finals as the game progresses. She is set to take on No. 4 seed Veronika Kudermetova.