Naomi Osaka pulls out of Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo due to illness on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
2017 US Open men’s singles champion Naomi Osaka will miss the start of the Pan Pacific Open on November 18-20 after battling illness.
Osaka said in a statement: “I want to apologize if the fans had to wait a little bit longer than their first, or second, hopes. I am sorry. I have learned a lesson in handling myself, though. Please, wait patiently for what I can do for you, and you wait patiently.”
She didn’t give any details on what she was diagnosed with, but it was believed to be a stomach virus. The 24-year-old won in Australia last year and is trying to win two majors in a year, the U.S. Open in September and the 2020 Tokyo Grand Slam. Osaka is also playing the year-end event alongside a top-10 player.
She also played the U.S. Open last month, losing to Caroline Wozniacki in five sets and then falling to qualifier Camila Giorgi in three sets and winning only one match in three sets in her semifinal and quarterfinal matches. She beat Giorgi in straight sets in her semifinal and won the first set of her quarterfinal to stay on top in the WTA Rankings in November.
There are nine other players in the top 30 in the world, but none of them have won a major yet.
The first big title of the year comes when the U.S. Open starts on Nov. 20, featuring Naomi Osaka and her sister Naomi Osaka-Noorani.
Rafael Nadal is the defending champion at the U.S. Open and is a four-time winner of the event. He beat fellow Spaniard Juan Martin del Potro in the final in 2015. Nadal has played seven finals this year with five of them coming in the U.S., including a win over Andy Murray at the Australian Open.
Naomi Osaka won her first career title in Japan last year, beating Naomi Osaka-Noorani 7-6 (4), 6-0. Osaka-Noorani also became the first sister duo to win a tournament as a pair at WTA Tour Level events when they