Naomi Osaka and Roger Federer each withdrew from the Italian Open in Rome on Friday due to injury, putting a question mark on their status for the French Open.
The French Open, the second Grand Slam of the season, begins on May 27.
Osaka withdraws due to thumb injury
Osaka pulled out of the quarterfinals due to a “pain” in her right hand, per ESPN. It’s the second time she’s pulled out of an event after an abdominal injury forced her to withdrawal ahead of the Stuttgart Open semifinal three weeks ago.
The top-ranked player’s status for the French Open is reportedly in doubt.
"I'm kind of in between sad and disappointed."@Naomi_Osaka_ speaks with the press following her withdrawal from the @InteBNLdItalia
Full press conference--> https://t.co/1jtfspyngh pic.twitter.com/Doh4B5CdB7
— WTA (@WTA) May 17, 2019
Osaka showed the swelling in her hand and said she had yet to see the doctor, though she was scheduled to go in afterward. Via ESPN:
"I woke up this morning and couldn't really move my thumb. I tried to practice and grip my racket but I couldn't, and I kept feeling this pain when I tried to move my hand in different directions.
"Right now I'm ... in between sad and disappointed because I really wanted to play my match today. For me, it was sort of a test to play against Kiki because she's playing really well and I wanted to see how well I could do today.
"I didn't feel anything yesterday. That's why I'm kind of confused right now because I literally woke up in the morning and couldn't move my thumb. So I was like, maybe I slept on it and maybe it will go away, but it didn't."
Osaka won straight-sets victories Thursday against Dominika Cibulkova and Mihaela Buzarnescu when rain the day prior forced back-to-back matches for the field. She was set to play Kiki Bertens, winner of the Madrid Open. Bertens will move into the semifinals on Saturday.
— WTA (@WTA) May 8, 2019
Osaka’s wins clinched the No. 1 seed for the French Open if she’s able to play.
Federer withdraws with right leg pain
Federer also played two matches Thursday, defeating Joao Sousa in straight sets and Borna Coric in a deciding set.
The second match is believed to have caused the 20-time Grand Slam champion’s injury. He told reporters that after the 3-hour, 51-minute match he slid on a wet baseline and his leg “was hurting a little bit,” per The Associated Press.
I had to take the tough decision this morning to pull out of the Italian Open as I am not feeling 100% physically. The fan reaction and crowd energy during my matches yesterday remind me exactly why I am still competing on the ATP Tour. Mazie Grille! 🙃
A presto!👏🇮🇹💯🙌 #Roma
— Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) May 17, 2019
The 37-year-old Federer, ranked third in the world, told reporters, via AP:
“I am disappointed that I will not be able to compete today. I am not 100 percent physically and, after consultation with my team, it was determined that I not play. Rome has always been one of my favorite cities to visit and I hope to be back next year.”
His scheduled opponent, Stefanos Tsitsipas, moves into the quarterfinals.
There is no word on Federer’s status for the French Open at Roland Garros, which he hasn’t played at since 2015. It’s the 10-year anniversary of his only French Open championship.
Serena Williams, Caroline Wozniacki previously withdrew
Serena Williams, ranked 11th in the standings, and Carolina Wozniacki, ranked 12th, withdrew from competition Tuesday, leaving their status for the French Open questioned.
Wozniacki retired in the middle of her first-round match due to a leg injury. It’s the second straight tournament the 28-year-old has withdrawn from after doing so at the Madrid Open due to a back injury.
Williams, 37, has been dealing with a knee injury and pulled out of competition Tuesday before the anticipated second-round match-up against her sister, Venus Williams.
Williams told reporters, via The Guardian:
“I must withdraw from the Italian Open due to pain in my left knee. I will miss the fans and competition at one of my favorite tournaments. I’ll be concentrating on rehab and look forward to seeing you all at the French Open and next year in Rome.”
Williams has withdrawn from her last three tournaments, leaving question marks on if she’ll make it through the Grand Slam schedule.
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