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Naomi Osaka (abdomen) pulls out of Melbourne semifinal

Sportsnaut
Sep 3, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Naomi Osaka of Japan gestures after missing a shot against Leylah Annie Fernandez of Canada (not pictured) on day five of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 3, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Naomi Osaka of Japan gestures after missing a shot against Leylah Annie Fernandez of Canada (not pictured) on day five of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Japan’s Naomi Osaka saw her run at the Melbourne Summer Set 1 in Australia end when she withdrew from her scheduled Saturday semifinal match due to an abdomen injury.

The withdrawal allowed Russia’s Veronika Kudermetova to advance to the final with a walkover win.

Osaka, the former world No. 1, was playing in her first tournament since the U.S. Open four months ago.

“I had a lot of fun playing here in Melbourne. Unfortunately I have an abdominal injury which I need to rest and prepare for the Australian Open,” the top-seeded Osaka said in a statement issued by Tennis Australia.

The Australian Open, a Grand Slam event, begins on Jan. 17. Osaka is the defending champion. She also won the event in 2019.

The third-seeded Kudermetova will face second-seeded Simona Halep of Romania in the final. Halep cruised to a 6-3, 6-2 win over China’s Qinwen Zheng.

–Field Level Media