Naomi Osaka withdrew from the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo on Thursday due to illness CNN

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CNN

Four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka withdrew from her second-round match against Beatriz Haddad Maya at the Pan Pacific Open on Thursday due to illness, ending her title defense at the tournament.

“I’m really sorry that I can’t compete today,” Osaka said in a statement to the WTA.

“It’s an honor to play in the Pan Pacific Open in front of the amazing fans here in Japan. It was and always will be a special tournament for me and I wish I could step on the court today, but my body won’t let me. Thank you for all your support this week and I’ll see you next year.”

The former world No. 1 was suffering from stomach pains, Reuters reported, after going into the second round while her opponent Daria Saville suffered a knee injury.

Osaka has endured an injury-plagued season, failing to win more than one match at a singles tournament since reaching the final of the Miami Open in April.

She withdrew from the semifinals of the Melbourne Summer Set 1 tournament in January with an abdominal injury, missed the entire grass court season with an Achilles injury, and withdrew from the first match of the Canadian Open with a back injury.

“This year was not the best year for me, but I learned a lot about myself,” Osaka told reporters before the start of the Pan Pacific Open.

“Life has ups and downs, and this year has had more than ups and downs, but overall, I’m pretty happy with where I am now.”

Due to her injury problems this year, Osaka dropped from world No. 13 in January to world No. 48 and has not won a Grand Slam since the 2021 Australian Open.

“It was hard at first, because I felt like I should be somewhere I’m obviously not at the moment,” he said.

“I think for me it’s more about being at peace with myself. I know I’m here for a reason.”

Haddad Maia will now advance to the quarterfinals via a walkover where she will face Veronika Kudermatova or Fernanda Contreras Gomez.

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