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23 Sep 2021: Japan's Naomi Osaka opts out of Indian Wells
Japanese star Naomi Osaka has pulled out of next month's BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells. The 23-year-old was recently stunned by Canadian teenager Leylah Fernandez in the third round at US Open. Thereafter, Osaka announced that she is going to take an indefinite break from tennis. Notably, Osaka had won her first WTA title at Indian Wells in 2018.
Fact: Osaka withdraws from the BNP Paribas Open
Form: Osaka hasn't been at her best
Osaka hasn't been at her best after winning the Australian Open. She is 18-6 in the ongoing season. Before the US Open, she suffered a third-round defeat to Swiss wildcard Jil Teichmann at the Cincinnati Open. Prior to that, Osaka lost in the third round at the Tokyo Games. She withdrew after the first-round match at Roland Garros and skipped the entire Wimbledon.
Title: Osaka won her maiden WTA title at Indian Wells
Osaka won her maiden WTA title at the Indian Wells in 2018. She defeated two top-five opponents, Karolina Plískova and Simona Halep, in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively. Osaka beat Daria Kasatkin in the final to become the youngest champion at the event in ten years. Notably, this was Osaka's first appearance in the final of a top-tier WTA event.
Fact: Osaka won her second Australian Open final
Earlier this year, Osaka had defeated 22nd seed Jennifer Brady to win her second Australian Open title earlier this year. She became only the third player in the Open Era to win her first four Grand Slam finals after Roger Federer and Monica Seles.
Development: Johanna Konta also withdraws from Indian Wells
In another development, Johanna Konta has pulled out of the impending WTA events in Chicago and Indian Wells. The 30-year-old had withdrawn from the US Open as well due to a thigh injury. She had opted out hours before she was due to play her first-round match. Konta earlier missed the Tokyo 2020 Olympics after testing positive for COVID-19.
Also see: WTA Rankings: Naomi Osaka slips out of top five
Cincinnati Open: Naomi Osaka knocked out by wildcard Jil Teichmann
Decoding the career stats of Japan's Naomi Osaka
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