Injured Naomi Osaka loses Western & Southern Open final by default



Naomi Osaka pulled out of the Western & Southern Open final Saturday because of a left hamstring injury, giving the title to Victoria Azarenka in a walkover.

The tournament announced Osaka’s decision about 90 minutes before the championship match was supposed to begin in Louis Armstrong Stadium at the site of the U.S. Open.

The Western & Southern Open normally is held in Ohio but was moved to New York this year because of the coronavirus pandemic as part of a two-tournament “controlled environment.”

The U.S. Open starts Monday. One of Osaka’s two Grand Slam titles came at Flushing Meadows in 2018.

“I’m sorry to have to withdraw today with an injury,” Osaka said in a statement released by the Western & Southern Open. “I pulled my left hamstring yesterday in the second set tiebreak and it has not recovered overnight as I had hoped. This has been an emotional week and I want to thank everyone for the outpouring of support.”

WATCH | Naomi Osaka beats Mertens in W&S Open semifinal:

After nearly dropping out of the tournament, before the WTA decided on a one-day pause of play to take a stance against racial injustice, Naomi Osaka advanced to the final of the Western & Southern Open with a 6-2, 7-6 (5) win over Elise Mertens. 0:34

Osaka, a 22-year-old who was born in Japan and is now based in the U.S., brought the push for racial justice to the tennis tour by saying she was not going to play in her semifinal, joining athletes in the NBA, Major League Baseball and other sports in sitting out this week in reaction to the police shooting in Wisconsin of a Black man, Jacob Blake.

Osaka’s stance prompted the tournament to say it was taking a “pause” to back the cause and scrapping all scheduled matches for Thursday.

Naomi Osaka sports a Black Lives Matter shirt as she makes her way to the court for her semifinal match against Elise Mertens on Friday. (Getty Images)

When play resumed Friday, Osaka did compete, and she beat Elise Mertens 6-2, 7-6 (5). But Osaka grabbed her left hamstring after chasing a ball during the tiebreaker.

WATCH | Naomi Osaka continues call for social reform: 

After tournament officials invoked a one-day break, in a show of support for Osaka’s vow to withdraw from the Western & Southern Open to highlight racial injustice, Osaka walked to the court for her semifinal match wearing a Black Lives matter shirt. 0:43

The 59th-ranked Azarenka collects her first title since 2016 and the 21st of her career, 20th at a hard-court event. She is a two-time Australian Open champion, two-time U.S. Open runner-up and has been ranked as high as No. 1.

Azarenka also won the Western & Southern Open in 2013.

The 31-year-old Azarenka considered retiring at the start of the year.

“I haven’t felt this way in so, so long — probably ever, to be honest,” she said after her 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 semifinal win over Johanna Konta on Friday. “That’s what I’m enjoying.”




Source link

Johny Watshon

Life is like a running cycle right! I am a news editor at TIMES. Collecting <a href="https://usanewsupdate.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">News</a> is my passion. Because my visitors have the right to know the truth and perfectly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Next Post

Canadian commitment to Mali questioned as coup ushers in new era

Sat Aug 29 , 2020
Share on Facebook Tweet it Share on Google Pin it Share it Email When armed soldiers arrested Mali’s embattled president earlier this month and forced him to resign on television in a coup that has been widely condemned by the international community, Canada was among those to speak out in […]
Canadian commitment to Mali questioned as coup ushers in new era

Chief Editor

Johny Watshon

Life is like running cycle right! I am a news editor at TIMES. Collecting News is my passion. Because my visitors have right to know the truth and perfectly.

Quick Links