Naomi Osaka pulls out of Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo due to illness on Thursday
By Jeff Bryant and Josh Schad
Japan’s Naomi Osaka is the top seed at the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo on Sunday.
Photo by Josh Schad
The defending champion is not scheduled to play in the tournament, but will instead have an eye on Sunday’s final on the men’s side.
Naomi Osaka is the top ranking women’s player in the world, and while she was the No. 1 seed in the women’s singles at the Australian Open on clay yesterday, she was seeded 25th at the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo on Thursday, with the men’s draw being much weaker than its equivalent in Sydney and Melbourne.
According to the WTA, Osaka, seeded 13th for the women on Thursday, could be the victim of the “hasty draw,” meaning that a better player than her was selected to be on the men’s side.
But Osaka could be forgiven, as she’s been dealing with a knee injury, and is reportedly scheduled to have an eye on the final.
In an official statement from the WTA, Osaka’s “long-term health issue” was confirmed as “caused by an infection,” and she will “recover in time.”
The other women’s top seeds are Caroline Wozniacki, Victoria Azarenka, and Madison Keys.
No. 12 qualifier Jana Čepelová is the second top seed in the tournament, with No. 10 Maria Sharapova, No. 5 Victoria Azarenka, and No. 3 Simona Halep all making it to the quarterfinals.
Meanwhile, No. 18 seed Denis Shapovalov remains the heavy favorite for his win at the tournament, with the Russian taking out top seeded Marin Cilic in qualifying and the fifth seed reaching the quarterfinals in Sydney.
However, the men’s draw is even tougher than it is for the women, with No. 1 Novak Djokovic, No. 2