Naomi Osaka's honest update after latest tennis setback

Tennis star Naomi Osaka

Naomi Osaka was forced to withdraw from the Pan Pacific Open this week after struggling with stomach problems.

Throughout 2022, the four-time Grand Slam champion has suffered multiple injuries and illnesses which have resulted in early tournament exits.

Osaka has not won a title this year and after her latest fitness update, it looks as though fans will have to wait until 2023 to see her challenge again.

Naomi Osaka opens up on fitness

After receiving a walkover in the first round of the Pan Pacific Open, the Japanese star will not be competing any further.

Her opening match lasted just seven minutes before opponent Daria Saville retired due to a knee injury. A later update confirmed Saville had torn her ACL and she will be sidelined for several months while she undergoes her rehabilitation.

But Osaka’s own fate could not carry her past the second round.

Naomi Osaka at the Madrid Open
MADRID, SPAIN – MAY 01: Naomi Osaka of Japan walks off court after her straight sets defeat in her Round of 32 match against Sara Sorribes Tormo of Spain on day four of the Mutua Madrid Open at La Caja Magica on May 01, 2022 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

In a recent statement, she apologised to her home fans for having to withdraw and revealed the nature of her setback.

“I am really sorry that I am not able to compete today. It’s an honour to be able to play at the Toray Pan Pacific Open in front of the amazing fans here in Japan.

“This has and always will be a special tournament for me and I wish I could have stepped on court today, but my body won’t let me. Thank you for all your support this week and I will see you next year.”

Osaka’s struggles

After winning her fourth Grand Slam title at the 2021 Australian Open, Osaka took a hiatus from tennis.

It started after she took a stand against media duties at Roland-Garros, highlighting how certain angles of questioning can impact players’ mental health.

She eventually withdrew from the tournament after being threatened with a fine and expulsion and eventually took a break from the sport altogether.

After three months out, Osaka returned to defend her title in Melbourne this January but was knocked out in the third round by Amanda Anisimova.

As a result of her early loss and her 2021 absences, the 24-year-old dropped outside of the top 80 in the world rankings.

Naomi Osaka, Miami Open
MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA – MARCH 29: Naomi Osaka of Japan serves to Danielle Collins of the United States during the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium on March 29, 2022 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

She has since climbed her way back to inside the top 50 and is currently ranked as the world number 48 thanks to reaching the Miami Open final in April.

However, since then she has exited every tournament in either the first or second round.

After picking up an ankle injury in Madrid, Osaka withdrew from the Italian Open and later retired from the Canadian Open due to back problems.

Despite tournaments like the Southern California Open and Guadalajara Open coming up in October, it appears Osaka has made the decision to end her 2022 now and start fresh in the new year.

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