Tennis: Two-time champion Naomi Osaka withdraws from Australian Open, no reason given

Naomi Osaka.
Naomi Osaka. Photo credit: Getty Images

Two-time champion Naomi Osaka has pulled out of the Australian Open, without elaborating on the reason.

The Japanese former world No.1's name was on the entry list for the tournament, but Osaka was not scheduled to play in warm-up tournaments in Adelaide and Hobart, raising doubts about her participation in the hardcourt major.

"Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from the Australian Open,"  the Australian Open tweeted.  "We will miss her at #AO2023, Dayana Yastremska moves into the main draw."

The 2019 and 2021 Melbourne Park champion has not played on the WTA Tour since pulling out of her match against Beatriz Haddad Maia in the Pan Pacific Open second round at Tokyo in September, due to illness.

Her withdrawal comes a day after American seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams was ruled out of the Australian Open, due to injury, in a double blow to the organisers.

Osaka, who has slipped to 42 in the world rankings, took a break to prioritise her mental health after skipping the 2021 French Open and later said that she was battling depression.