Former world No. 1 Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from the Rome Masters due to a left ankle injury, the tournament announced.
Osaka, now ranked at No. 38 in the world, won’t be making her fifth Rome appearance this week.
[email protected] withdraws from #IBI22 due to left ankle injury.
We’ll see you next year Naomi! ❤️#tennis | #IBI22 pic.twitter.com/NJHr360GgD
— Internazionali Bnl (@InteBNLdItalia) May 9, 2022
In Madrid, Osaka kicked off her clay season.
After beating Anastasia Potapova in the first round, Osaka suffered a surprise loss to Sara Sorribes Tormo in the second round.
After the match, Osaka revealed she was hampered by an ankle injury but didn’t want to give a walkover or retire the match.
Interestingly, Osaka was drawn to meet Sorribes Tormo in the Rome first round.
Osaka achieved her best Rome result in 2019, when she made the quarterfinal before giving a walkover to Kiki Bertens.
Osaka played through pain
After suffering a 6-3 6-1 loss to Sorribes Tormo, Osaka opened up about her ankle injury.
“Honestly, I have had it before, like maybe two years ago I think after Miami or something. But I can’t imagine that it will be a huge problem unless something significant happens, but I think for right now, just learning how to move forward with everything,” Osaka said after losing to Sorrribes Tormo.
Osaka, a four-time Grand Slam champion, revealed Michael Jordan is her inspiration and she suggested she is dreaming of pulling off something similar to the “flu game.”
“For me I don’t want to retire because of injury again in my career, because sometimes I think about the Michael Jordan flu game and I’m like I should be like that too,” Osaka explained.
“Of course there’s always caution in your mind but for me I want to see what happens if I play through it.
“I want to know the type of feeling that I would have if I were ever to be injured badly and still be able to push through the match.”
The French Open starts in less than two weeks and Osaka should be ready for the second Grand Slam of the year.