The two-time champion will not feature at the upcoming first Grand Slam tournament of 2023 that begins on January 16 in Melbourne, joining the likes of men’s world no1 Carlos Alcaraz and veteran Venus Williams in pulling out, while there are also lingering concerns over the fitness of Britain’s Emma Raducanu.
Alcaraz withdrew on Friday citing a leg muscle injury sustained during pre-season, while Williams - initially handed a main-draw wild card for a 22nd appearance 25 years after her Australian Open debut - suffered an undisclosed issue at the recent ASB Classic in Auckland, as did Raducanu.
That duo have now been closely followed by Osaka, who was the women’s singles champion down under in both 2019 and 2021.
“Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from the Australian Open. We will miss her at #AO2023,” the Australian Open confirmed in a short social media update on Sunday.
Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from the Australian Open. We will miss her at #AO2023 💙
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 8, 2023
The 25-year-old’s WTA singles ranking has slipped to 47 and she has not played since September after withdrawing during the second round in Tokyo.
Osaka won her first-round match at that tournament when Australia’s Daria Saville withdrew after one game with a knee injury.
Osaka has won only one completed match since May and was beaten in the first round of her three previous tournaments, including the US Open at which she also is a two-time champion. Ukraine’s Dayana Yastremska has been promoted to the main draw in Melbourne in her place.
Additional reporting by the Press Association.