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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