Naomi Osaka withdraws from French Open with hamstring injury

Tennis champion Naomi Osaka brings racial justice to her Grand Slam win

In a statement posted to Twitter, the 22-year-old said: "I won't be able to play at the French Open".

"My hamstring is still sore so I won't have enough time to prepare for the clay".

The announcement came just hours after the French Tennis Federation reduced the number of fans that will be allowed to attend the French Open due to the worsening coronavirus situation in the country.

© Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this September 12, 2020, file photo, Naomi Osaka, of Japan, returns a shot to Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, during the women's singles final of the US Open tennis championships, in NY. She also won the US Open in 2018 and the Australian Open in 2019.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced French Open officials to reschedule their slam from its usual slot in May-June.

She also became the first Asian player to win three Grand Slams, overtaking China's Li Na on two.

"Miss you guys but you'll see me sooner than later!"

Naomi Osaka joins a growing list of stars skipping the French Open.

"I wish the organisers and players all the best".

In addition to her on-court excellence, Osaka was in the spotlight in NY for her activism on behalf of racial justice.

For each of her US Open matches she wore a different mask that carried the name of a Black American, aiming to highlight racial injustice in the United States to a wider audience.

Her stance drew praise from many, and Osaka had a defiant response on social media to those who did complain.

Osaka had climbed six spots to third in the latest WTA rankings released on Monday, while Azarenka's career revival gathered traction as the Flushing Meadows finalist returned to the top-15. She previously told reporters she suffered the injury during the Western & Southern Open, which was held a week before the start of the US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in NY.

She said she pulled the muscle in her semi-final victory.



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