Four time grand slam winner Naomi Osaka has become the latest in the big list to not feature in the first grand slam of the year, Australian Open. The Open’s official Twitter handle shared the same on Sunday, “Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from the Australian Open. We will miss her at #AO2023.” This will mark the first occasion since her 2016, her first Australian Open, of Osaka not featuring at Melbourne Park.
The decision from the 25-year-old doesn’t come as a surprise owing to the fact that Osaka hasn’t played a competitive match since withdrawing from the second round in Tokyo last September and has won only one completed match since last May.
Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from the Australian Open. We will miss her at #AO2023 💙
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 8, 2023
Back in 2021, Osaka had announced missing out on the 2021 French Open, later revealing that it was due to depression and anxiety penting up from several years.
Having reached till the number one spot in the world rankings, Osaka is currently 42nd in the WTA list.
Osaka’s decision to withdraw comes hours after men’s world number one Carlos Alcaraz also announced his absence from the Open owing to a right leg injury.
While the 2023 edition of the Australian Open marks the post-Roger Federer and Serena Williams era in grand slams, the retirement of reigning women’s champion Ash Barty and former runner up Simona Halep also withdrawing are other big blows the tournament organisers have had to deal with this year.