Naomi Osaka withdraws from Australian Open, reason unclear

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Naomi Osaka has pulled out of the Australian Open, without citing an injury or some other reason. The feeling in the air is that the four-time Grand Slam champion is avoiding tennis, ever since she took a mental health break after withdrawing from 2021 French Open due to her media boycott drama.

Naomi Osaka

The 25-year-old Osaka, who won the Australian Open in 2019 and 2021, hasn’t competed since the 2022 Toray Pan Pacific Open Tennis in September, but even then her sole match win came when Australia’s Daria Saville retired after just one game. Since playing the 2022 Miami Open final in early April, Osaka has won only two completed matches.

It seems that Osaka is tired of tennis and that she would like to end her career, but it’s too big a decision. What do you think? Tell us in the comments.

Ukraine’s Dayana Yastremska has moved into the main draw of the Australian Open now that Osaka is out. Another big-name player to miss the upcoming major is Venus Williams, who suffered an injury this month in Auckland and was forced to withdraw.

UPDATE: Now we know why Naomi Osaka was forced to skip the 2023 Australian Open — she is pregnant!

13 COMMENTS

  1. I feel so sad of Naomi. It really seems that she is struggling with something really big. If tennis doesn’t give her the joy, it’s a good decision to withdraw from AO. And i kinda feel the same as you’ve wrote in the article, Marija. It seems like she’s thinking of retiring but like she’s not ready to make such a big step. No matter what will happen, I hope she will find some peace and happiness.

  2. Mateusz, I can imagine that it’s not easy to always motivate yourself and be focused on your career, especially if you suffer from depression. Naomi has achieved more than most women’s players in the history of the sport and even if she leaves now, she has so much to be proud of. However, I believe she just needs an extended break, without the pressure of expectations and the set date of her return.

  3. One of the biggest disappointments in tennis over the past decade really. I think too much money cake too quickly and she just doesn’t have that drive that Sharapova and Williams had to stay motivated as a result. I wouldn’t be surprised if we didn’t see her play again. A real Shane because she could have been an all time great if she had the drive.

  4. I agree with you, Andy- I think money was a huge motivating factor in her becoming a champion. She’s spoken about her family having very little growing up…. Now that she’s earned so much, what’s the motivation? Particularly for someone who doesn’t love the spotlight, and possibly doesn’t even love the game? None of us are experts, it’s all speculation …. But she absolutely could have been an all time great.

  5. I think that’s a really telling tweet. I do recall reading somewhere she has felt a lot of pressure to financially support her family. Her sister, while a good player, has never achieved financially what Naomi has.

  6. Just on side note, Marija- a new Nike dress was at my local tennis shop, and I think it’s part of the AusOpen 2023 collection. Strangely, I can’t find it anywhere online as yet, but happy to send you the photo!

  7. Karo, sure, please send me the photo. I can’t write my email here in the comments section, but you can send me an email via the contact form here and I will promptly write back, so you will have my email. I tried contacting you via the email you leave when you write comments, but I got a return message that the address has not been found.

  8. The first dress in the link you supplied is the exact dress I saw at the tennis shop.
    The collections seemed to be released later and later online, too!

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