Tennis Article

Big Guns Commit But Osaka Hints at French Open Withdrawal

Big Guns Commit But Osaka Hints at French Open Withdrawal Photo: TT
Naomi Osaka of Japan celebrates with the championship trophy after her match against Victoria Azarenka of Belarus (not pictured) in the women's US Open singles final

US Open champion Naomi Osaka has hinted she may join world number one Ash Barty and not participate at the upcoming French Open as the coronavirus spirals out of control in the West European nation.

For the first time, France recorded more than 10,000 daily new cases over the weekend, with the nation’s curve heading upwards yet again.

Osaka was crowned the US Open for the second time on Saturday but was non committal about her participation at Roland Garros with the event due to run from September 21 to October 11.

“I was planning to play when I came here, but I guess I’ll see what happens,” Osaka said.

Last week reigning French Open champion Barty decided not to defend her title due to health concerns.

“It was a difficult decision to make, but sadly I will not compete in Europe this year,” Barty wrote on Instagram.

“Last year’s French Open was the most special tournament of my career, so it’s not a decision I made lightly.”

While numerous players withdrew from the US Open due to health and safety concerns, few of the top players have opted out of the French Open at this stage.

Roger Federer will definitely not play, but that’s due to injury, while Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal will compete in this week’s Rome Masters ahead of Roland Garros.

Reigning champion Nadal is the overwhelming favourite having claimed 12 French Open titles but the disrupted year may impact his chances.

Breakthrough men’s US Open champion Dominic Thiem raised some concerns about participating at the French Open, although they didn’t appear health related.

“I think physically I’m going to be fine, 100%,” the Austrian said.

“I’m going to have enough time to recover from all the troubles I had but the question is how I’m going to do it with the emotions mentally.

“Obviously, I’ve never been in this situation. I achieved a big, big goal. I don’t know how I’m going to feel the next days.”

Ben somerford
Sports Pundit staff writer @bensomerford
Australian journalist who specialises on all sports, focusing on football, tennis, basketball and racing, having written for global publications including FourFourTwo, AAP, Inside Futbol and many more....

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