Naomi Osaka's 'sad' withdrawal in worrying Australian Open sign

Naomi Osaka (pictured) smiling during her match at the Melbourne Summer Set.
Naomi Osaka (pictured) has withdrawn from the Melbourne Summer Set at Melbourne Park. (Getty Images)

Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from her WTA event in Melbourne for some rest in a bid to be fit for the Australian Open.

Top-seeded Naomi Osaka pulled out of her Melbourne Summer Set 1 WTA event semi-final against Veronika Kudermetova on Saturday, citing the intensity of recent games as cause for her withdrawal.

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Osaka took to Twitter and said the back-to-back matches had taken a toll on her body after a layoff.

"Sad to withdraw due to injury from my match today, my body got a shock from playing back to back intense matches after the break I took," she wrote.

"Thank you for all the love this past week. I'll try to rest up and I'll see you soon."

Despite the disappointment, it was noted this isn't unusual for Osaka before a grand slam.

She withdrew from her two warm-up events before last two grand slam wins.

Withdrawal hurts Naomi Osaka's seeding at Aus Open

Unfortunately, Elena Ryabakina won her match in Adelaide and therefore leapt Osaka in the rankings.

This means Osaka will draw a Top 4 seed, including possibly Ash Barty, in the Round of 16 at the Australian Open if she is to reach that stage.

Four-times grand slam champion Osaka beat German Andrea Petkovic 6-1, 7-5 in the quarter-final on Friday, less than two weeks out from the start of the Australian Open.

with Reuters

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