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Osaka withdraws from Italian Open

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Japan's Naomi Osaka during a press conference after withdrawing from her quarter final match against Kiki Bertens of Netherlands due to injury

Image credit: Reuters

ByAlexander Netherton
17/05/2019 at 08:51 | Updated 17/05/2019 at 12:23

Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from the Italian Open with a hand injury.

The 21-year-old Japanese was scheduled to face sixth seed Kiki Bertens after coming through two matches on Thursday in the rain-affected tournament but said she was forced to withdraw due to pain and swelling at the base of her thumb.

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The injury could be a concern for Osaka, who has won the last two grand slams, ahead of the French Open at Roland Garros with the first games due to start on 27 May.

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Osaka also had to pull out of the Stuttgart Open because of an abdominal problem.

She follows Serena Williams out of the tournament, with the American withdrawing due to a knee issue. Caroline Wozniacki also pulled out ahead of her first-round match due to a calf complaint.

"I woke up this morning and couldn't really move my thumb," Osaka told reporters. "I tried to practise and grip my racket but I couldn't, and I kept feeling this pain when I tried to move my hand in different directions.

"Right now I'm... in between sad and disappointed because I really wanted to play my match today. For me, it was sort of a test to play against Kiki because she's playing really well and I wanted to see how well I could do today.

"I didn't feel anything yesterday. That's why I'm kind of confused right now because I literally woke up in the morning and couldn't move my thumb. So I was like, maybe I slept on it and maybe it will go away, but it didn't."

Additional reporting from Reuters

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