Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka has pulled out from the ongoing Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen due to injury on her right shoulder.
Meanwhile, World No 10 Kiki Bertens, who was also the semifinalist in Singapore last year, will replace Osaka for her remaining matches and will take the court at 4 pm (IST) on Tuesday to play Ashleigh Barty.
“I’m disappointed to have to withdraw from the Finals,” Osaka was quoted as saying on the WTA website.
“It has been a great event in Shenzhen, and it’s the biggest WTA event of the year. This is not how I wanted to end this tournament or my season. I look forward to getting healthy and hope to be back here in Shenzhen next year,” Osaka added.
World No 3 Osaka finishes the season by winning 11 consecutive matches as she has remained undefeated since the US Open.
Talking about her injury, Osaka said: “It doesn’t feel like it’s anything more serious than muscular. I think if it was like bone-related then I wouldn’t be able to lift it, but I am able to do that. It’s just a little bit painful.
“Definitely I don’t think it’s something that I would immediately need surgery for. I’ve never gotten surgery, so I feel like I’m very lucky on that. I’m not really hoping that will change any time soon.”
Bertens has the opportunity to advance out of the group into the semifinals. The final round-robin group standings are determined by the greatest number of match wins followed by the greatest number of matches played.