Newly crowned US Open champion, Naomi Osaka, pulled out of the French Open earlier today, citing a hamstring injury as the reason for doing so. The withdrawal is a huge blow to the Grand Slam which has already seen the defending champion Ash Barty pull out due to an inability to train properly for the event.
Osaka played almost the entirety of the 2020 US Open with taping on her left hamstring and battled questions about her fitness right up to the final. She admitted that the time between the two sporting events is too short for her to fully recover.
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“My hamstring is still sore so I won’t have time to prepare for the clay – these two tournaments came too close to each other for me this time. I wish the organisers and players all the best,” Osaka tweeted.
The pull out means the field will miss two of the top three players in the world, similar to what happened at Flushing Meadows. Roland Garros is scheduled to start from 27 September, despite a large number of cases of Covid-19 reported in France.
Cap on Number of Fans
The French Tennis Federation (FFT) announced that the Grand Slam will only allow 5,000 spectators per day to the stadiums to watch matches due to the rise in the number of Covid-19 cases in the country.
The announcement is a reversal of the FFT’s initial decision to allow a maximum of 11,500 fans per day at the clay court major.
“The health situation in the Ile-de-France region has led the Paris Police Prefecture to limit the number of spectators at Roland Garros to 5,000 per day over the entire 12-hectare site,” the FFT said in a statement.
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