Naomi Osaka withdraws from Melbourne tournament semi-final

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Rafael Nadal of Spain plays a forehand during his singles match against Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania at the Summer Set tennis tournament ahead of the Australian Open in Melbourne, Australia on Thursday January 6, 2022 (AP Photo / Hamish Blair )

PA

Defending Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka withdrew from her semi-final match at a WTA tournament on Saturday with an abdominal injury, allowing her opponent Veronika Kudermetova to advance to the final on a package.

“I had a lot of fun playing here in Melbourne. Unfortunately I have an abdominal injury from which I need to rest and prepare for the Australian Open, ”Osaka said in a statement released by Tennis Australia.

“Sad to retire with an injury from my game today, my body was shocked to play back-to-back intense games after the break I took,” Osaka later added on Twitter. “I will try to rest and I will see See you soon!”

The Australian Open begins on January 17th.

Kudermetova will face second seed Simona Halep on Sunday, who beat Zheng Qinwen 6-3, 6-2 in the other semi-final on Saturday in the Summer Set 1 event.

American Amanda Anisimova qualified for her first final since 2019 with a 6-2, 6-0 victory over Daria Kasatkina in the Summer Set 2 event at Rod Laver Arena. Anisimova will face either her compatriot American Ann Li or Belarusian Aliaksandra Sasnovich, who played her semi-final later on Saturday.

In the semifinals of an ATP tournament in Melbourne Park, Rafael Nadal faced Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori in a night match. The winner will face American Maxime Cressy, who beat Grigor Dimitrov 7-5, 7-6 (9).

At Adelaide International, Wimbledon champion Ash Barty was scheduled to play her nighttime semi-final against former Roland Garros winner Iga Swiatek.

The winner will face Elena Rybakina, who beat Misaki Doi 6-4, 6-3 in Adelaide’s other semi-final.

The Adelaide and Melbourne tournaments are among six tune-up events taking place in Australia this week ahead of the major season opener at Melbourne Park.

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