Naomi Osaka Pulls Out of French Open

Naomi Osaka Pulls Out of French Open

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Naomi Osaka, fresh off her win at the United States Open tennis tournament last week, announced Thursday night that she would not compete in the French Open this month because of a sore hamstring.

“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,” Ms. Osaka, 22, wrote in a message posted on Twitter, where she has more than 780,000 followers. “I wish the organizers and players all the best.”

Ms. Osaka, who rose to No. 3 in the rankings this week, had previously said she was not certain whether she would compete in the French Open, which is scheduled to begin on Sept. 27.

The U.S. Open victory was Osaka’s third Grand Slam title. During the competition, she focused attention on systemic racism, wearing seven black face masks with white letters, spelling the names of Black people who had been killed by the police or by civilians.

“The point is to make people start talking,” Osaka said at the awards ceremony, which, like the tournament itself, was conducted without fans in the stadium because of the coronavirus.

“The quarantine definitely gave me a chance to think about a lot of things, what I want to accomplish, what I want people to remember me by,” Osaka said. “I think it definitely helped me out.”

Osaka won her first Grand Slam title in 2018 at the U.S. Open but accepted the top award amid jeers from the crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium. In that final, she had defeated Serena Williams in a straight-sets match during which Williams clashed with a chair umpire who called three code-of-conduct violations against Williams. The crowd, unclear on the rules and upset at the treatment of Williams, booed during the awards ceremony.

Osaka won her second Grand Slam title with a victory at the Australian Open in January 2019.

Christopher Clarey contributed reporting.

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