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Naomi Osaka Withdraws from Australian Open

By Richard Pagliaro | Sunday, January 8, 2023

Naomi Osaka's absence from the pro tour continues.

Two-time Australian Open champion Osaka officially withdrew from the 2023 Australian Open today. Osaka did not cite a specific reason for her withdrawal.

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Dayana Yastremska replaces Osaka in the Australian Open draw. Osaka joins one of her tennis heroes, 42-year-old Venus Williams, in pulling out of the Melbourne major.

The Australian Open starts on January 16th.

Seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams pulled the plug after suffering an injury playing last week's ASB Classic in Auckland.

Former world No. 1 Osaka has not played a Tour-level match since Tokyo last September. Osaka's last Grand Slam tournament win was a 6-0, 6-4 victory over Madison Brengle in the second round of the 2022 Australian Open last January. Osaka lost to Amanda Anisimova in her 2022 Roland Garros opener, did not play Wimbledon and fell to Australian Open finalist Danielle Collins the US Open first round.

Tennis Express

Amanda Anisimova defeated defending-champion Osaka 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(5) in the Australian Open third round last January. Osaka played with passion in that match earning two match points before bowing. The former world No. 1 seemed to be finding her game and confidence with her run to the Miami Open final last April. Since Miami, Osaka has posted just three wins and failed to produce back-to-back victories.

The question is can Osaka find the joy, passion, consistency and confidence that is missing?

Photo credit: Getty