HONG KONG (AFP) - US Open tennis champion Naomi Osaka has pulled out of this week's Hong Kong Open to prevent aggravating a slight back injury, the organisers said on Sunday (Oct 7).
The Japanese star required treatment to her lower back during her semi-final defeat by unseeded Anastasija Sevastova at the China Open in Beijing on Saturday.
Afterwards, Osaka, who turns 21 on Oct 16, said it was more a case of fatigue than anything more serious, but suggested that she may not make the WTA Hong Kong Open, which starts on Monday.
"Unfortunately, I have been playing through pain in my back this whole week," the world No. 6 said in a subsequent statement released by the organisers.
"The doctors have advised me that I need to rest to ensure the injury is not further aggravated and becomes more serious."
One player who does appear set to play in Hong Kong is China's Wang Qiang, who is in the form of her life.
Wang was well beaten by world No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki in the China Open semi-finals, going down 6-1, 6-3, and has been carrying a thigh injury.
"I'll try my best because I will definitely face the same situation in the future," the 28th-ranked Wang said, asked if she would compete in Hong Kong.
"I cannot give up easily."