Naomi Osaka, Victoria Azarenka withdraw from Australian Open warm-up tournaments

February 6, 2021 0 Comments

Naomi Osaka withdrew from the semi-final of the Gippsland Trophy, citing an unspecified niggle and said she wanted to be cautious in the lead up to Australian Open 2021, starting February 8 in Melbourne.

Naomi Osaka, Victoria Azarenka pull out from Australian Open warm-up tournaments (Reuters Photo)


  • Naomi Osaka pulled out of Gippsland Open semi-final with a niggle
  • Victoria Azarenka withdrew from here quarter-final match at Grampians Trophy
  • Osaka and Azarenka took the cautious approach in the lead up to Australian Open 2021

World No. 3 and former Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka has pulled out from the semi-finals of Gippsland Trophy, a warm-up tournament in the lead up to the season’s first Grand Slam with an unspecified niggle. World No. 13 Victoria Azarenka also opted out of her quarter-final match in Melbourne with injury concerns.

Osaka said she wanted to be cautious in the lead up to the Australian Open and that she is looking forward to playing in the Grand Slam tournament, starting February 8.

“Sorry to Tennis Australia and the fans to have to withdraw today. I have a niggling injury and in light of the AO on the horizon, I need to be cautious. I look forward to competing next week,” Osaka said in a WTA statement.
After Osaka’s withdrawal, Belgium’s Elise Mertens has a walkover to the final of the Gippsland Trophy.

Meanwhile, Azarenka, who won back-to-back Australian Open titles in 2012-13, withdrew from her Grampians Trophy quarter-final against Annett Kontaveit, giving the Estonian a walkover to the semi-finals. Azarenka has been struggling with a lower-back problem, according to the governing body.

Azarenka’s withdrawal comes after former World No. 1 Serena Williams withdrew from her semi-final against world number one Ash Barty.

Notably, Azarenka will open her Australian Open campaign against Jessica Pegula of the USA while Osaka takes on Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in her opening round at the much-anticipated Grand Slam tournament.

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