Osaka suffers WTA Finals injury heartbreak for second year running

WTA Finals, Naomi Osaka, tennis, Ahleigh Barty
The 2020 AP Female Athlete of the Year is also on a 21-match winning streak that dates to last season. Photo: Twitter

All’s not okay with Naomi Osaka. The two-time Grand Slam winner was forced to withdraw from the season-ending WTA Finals on Tuesday (October 29) with a persisting shoulder problem.

It was  Osaka’s second straight year that she has pulled out due to an injury.

In last year’s edition, she was forced out of the lucrative year-ender with a hamstring injury and had been due to play world number one Ashleigh Barty later on Tuesday.

“I’m disappointed to have to withdraw from the Finals,” Osaka said.

“It has been a great event in Shenzhen, and its the biggest WTA event of the year.” “This is not how I wanted to end this tournament or my season. I look forward to getting healthy and hope to be back here in Shenzhen next year,” she added.

Also read: Federer withdraws from Paris Masters after clinching Basel Indoors

Osaka had started the $14 million round-robin tournament with a tough three-set victory over Petra Kvitova on Sunday to extend her winning streak to 11 matches after titles in Beijing and Osaka.

She had been determined to make amends for a disappointing WTA Finals debut last year when her winless campaign ended with her retiring in tears against Kiki Bertens due to a hamstring injury.

World number 10 Bertens will replace Osaka for the remaining matches and plays Barty in Red Group action on Tuesday.

(With inputs from agencies)