Naomi Osaka will not be able to play in the French Open this year. On Thursday night, the tennis star, who recently won the US Open, went to social media to announce she has withdrawn from the tournament due to her suffering a hamstring injury. The French Open is slated to start on Monday, Sept. 21.
"Unfortunately I won't be able to play the French Open this year," she wrote on social media. "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." Osaka is getting as much rest as she can after winning her third major title in her career last week. The 22-year old was able to defeat Victoria Azarenka in three sets, and it's her second US Open title in three years.
"This one feels different overall because of the circumstances I'm under," Osaka said when comparing her victory this year from the one in 2018 where she defeated Serena Williams in the finals. "I wasn't in a bubble last time. There were a lot of fans last time. Yeah, I feel like, you know, in the end all I focus on is what I can control on the tennis court. That's what I did last time. I feel like that's what I did this time."
Before the US Open, PopCulture.com spoke with Osaka who talked about her chances in the tournament. "I don’t go to a tournament without thinking that I have a chance to win," Osaka said. "I feel really good right now and am extremely focused. I'll miss the fans this year because I love the energy that you feel in big stadiums, but it's for the better and will make a return to play with fans that much more special."
Along with winning two US Open titles, she also won the Australian Open in 2019. The US Open was the first major tennis tournament since the Australian Open in January. The French Open was pushed back because of the COVID-19 pandemic. "I think that time away has really made me realize how much I love the competition," Osaka said. "It's what motivates me every day when I'm training. I can't wait to be back."