May 9 (UPI) — Japan’s Naomi Osaka will not participate in the 2022 Italian Open due to a persistent left ankle injury, she announced on Monday.
“Unfortunately, I’m going to have to withdraw from Roma, because the injury I suffered last week in Madrid hasn’t healed yet,” he added. Osaka said in a statement.
Osaka skipped the Charleston Open, another popular clay-court tournament of the season, in early April. She also missed other warm-up tournaments for the floor surface in Germany and Turkey.
There are just two more clay-court tournaments left before Roland-Garros 2022. The Strasbourg Open and the Moroccan Open take place from Sunday to May 21 in Strasbourg, France, and Rabat, Morocco, respectively.
“It’s an Achilles injury, so I have to be careful especially before Roland Garros,” Osaka said, referring to staying healthy for Roland-Garros.
“I love this city and I always enjoy playing in front of the Italian fans, so I’ll be sorry to miss them, but I can’t wait to come back next year,” she said in Rome.
Osaka lost to Poland’s No. 1 Iga Swiatek in the Miami Open women’s singles final in March in Miami Gardens, Florida. She then injured her Achilles tendon in her first-round victory on April 29 at the Madrid Open. She followed that up with a straight-set loss to Spaniard Sara Sorribes Tormo.
She was due to face Sorribes Tormo again on Tuesday in Rome, ahead of her exit. Spaniard Nuria Parrizas Dias replaced Osaka in the Italian Open draw.
“Occasionally life does not go as planned and you just gotta find joy in the unknown,” Osaka tweeted on Sunday.
The French Open will be held from May 22 to June 5 in Paris. Osaka, a four-time Grand Slam singles champion, has failed to advance past the third round in her previous five Roland Garros appearances.
She is the 38th player in the WTA world ranking.