Tennis

Naomi Osaka, Roger Federer hope to be fit for Roland Garros

19 May 2019 - 00:00 By AFP


World No 1 Naomi Osaka said she was "between sad and disappointed" after pulling out of the Italian Open before the quarterfinals with injury just a week before the start of the French Open.
She joined world number three Roger Federer who also pulled out of the same event. Both will look to regain fitness ahead of Roland Garros starting in Paris on May 26.
Federer, a quarterfinalist in Madrid, was playing in the Italian capital to prepare for his return to the French Open for the first time since 2015.
"I am not 100% physically and after consultation with my team, it was determined that I not play," he said.
The 21-year-old Osaka said she woke up and couldn't really move her thumb: "I can't move my hand. I can't move my thumb and I'm not sure I can play my match.
"I tried to practice and grip my racket and I just felt this pain every time I tried to move my hand in different directions." The Japanese star was due to meet Madrid Open champion and sixth seed Kiki Bertens for a place in the final four in Rome.
"Right now I'm not mad, but between sad and disappointed," she continued.
"For me it was a test to play against Kiki because she's playing really well and I wanted to see how well I could do. I didn't feel anything yesterday.
"I'm pretty confused when I woke up and couldn't move my thumb. I thought I slept on it and maybe it'll go away but it didn't.
"I haven't seen the doctor yet. I've seen the physio," she said.
Osaka said she could stay in Rome before going on to the French Open, but did not rule out competing at Roland Garros.
"I'm going to stay here for one more day and see how it is," she said. "I haven't really talked to everyone so don't really know what the plan is yet. I've never had this problem before, it's brand-new. I'm going to take it like how I went to Australia," added Osaka, who had also retired with a leg injury against Bertens in the WTA finals last October before going on to win the Australian Open.
"Grand slams to me are like a playground, I have a lot of fun there." Osaka won twice on Thursday after the previous day's play was rained off, retaining the world No 1 ranking ahead of Roland Garros.
She eased into the last eight in Rome with a 6-3 6-3 win over Mihaela Buzarnescu, after earlier beating Slovak Dominika Cibulkova by the same score, as players doubled up after the previous day was washed out.
Osaka had needed to make the quarterfinals to ensure Romanian Simona Halep could not swipe the No 1 ranking and with it top seeding in the French Open starting on May 26.
But Osaka's top spot was guaranteed when reigning Roland Garros champion Halep fell to Czech Marketa Vondrousova 2-6 7-5 6-3 in the second round.

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