By Ros Satar, at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, Stuttgart

  • World No. 1 and top seed Naomi Osaka withdraws from Stuttgart semi-final with an abdominal injury
STUTTGART, GERMANY – Naomi Osaka had to withdraw from the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix with an abdominal injury, handing Anett Kontaveit a walkover.

 

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World No. 1 and top seed Naomi Osaka had to pull out of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix semi-final, having sustained an abdominal injury during her quarter-final with Donna Vekic.

Speaking to the press shortly before the start of the first semi-final, she explained:

“I felt it yesterday at the start of the match, and actually [yesterday] Courtney [Nguyen], she was like asking me in the third set why my serve dropped, and it was actually for that reason but I wanted to wait to see if I could play today and then I woke up today and I had to like roll out of bed because I couldn’t really do much. So, and then I decided that I wasn’t able to play. I didn’t try to practice because I can’t even like lift my upper body. So, I don’t expect that I would be able to serve.”

This is an issue that has worryingly been a regular occurrence for Osaka but in a way it at least was something familiar to recognise.

“It’s something that I’ve had before. It’s like an ab strain. Thankfully because I’ve had it, I guess it’s not good that I’ve had it so many times but thankfully because I’ve had it so many times I’m able to tell what it is and I think I know what I have to do in order to make it better.”

 

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It was almost a premonition for Osaka, who joked at the time in the all access media day that she wanted to get through this tournament without picking up an injury, as almost every year she has had to skip a tournament somewhere.

READ MORE | Tennis | WTA Stuttgart | Finding your feet on the Stuttgart clay

“You know like there is a saying that you speak things into existence? I feel like I do that a lot. So, I’m never going to open my mouth again. I feel like I [jinxed it]. Because honestly it’s been a solid while since I had this, like it’s Birmingham last year, you know. And for some reason it always is the Europe swing. “I feel like even though it’s bad that I got injured here, I’m happy that it was in the beginning and not like Rome where it’s really close to French Open.

“I’m just happy I won two matches honestly. I think, I don’t know, this was a really good boost for me because it let me know that even though like I’m internalising like either pain or just feelings I can still win matches and just fighting alone and willpower which is something that, like whenever I want to win a lot I tend to panic, but I feel like I found the calm space again. I think it’s something that’s really good and I’m really glad I played this tournament.”

The final between Anett Kontaveit and Petra Kvitova is at 4pm (3pm BST).

 

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