KEY POINTS

  • Naomi Osaka will miss the French Open due to a hamstring injury
  • Osaka rose to the No. 3 spot in WTA rankings after winning the last U.S. Open
  • The French Open will proceed with limited fans in attendance despite the COVID-19 threat in France

Naomi Osaka won’t be competing in the French Open this year.

The 22-year-old tennis star, who just recently captured the U.S. Open title, announced Thursday that she’ll be skipping the tournament at Roland Garros as she is bugged by a hamstring injury.

"Unfortunately, I won't be able to play the French Open this year," Osaka wrote on her Twitter page. "My hamstring is still sore so I won't have enough time to prepare for the clay -- these 2 tournaments came too close to each other for me this time. I wish the organizers and players all the best."

The French Open is set to take place in Paris starting Sept. 27 with the final scheduled on Oct. 11.

The recent Grand Slam feat has placed Osaka back to No. 3 in the WTA world rankings – a significant climb of six places from her previous spot. She now only trails Simona Halep and top player Ashleigh Barty, who has also decided to skip the major tourney in France due to COVID-19 concerns.

Barty won the French Open last year but restrictions caused by the current health crisis have forced her to surrender the title defense. With strict state border closures imposed in Australia, the 24-year-old lamented that she was denied to train with her coach; hence, she felt it’s best to pull out as she deemed herself unfit to compete.

"It has been a challenging year for everyone and, although I am disappointed on a tennis front, the health and wellbeing of my family and my team will always be my priority. Thank you to my fans for your continued support, I can't wait to play for you again," said Barty early this month as she also withdrew from the U.S. Open in New York.

The French Open was moved from its usual spring dates due to pandemic. But despite the continuing threat of the Coronavirus, tournament organizers are keen on bringing in fans inside the ‘zones’ at Roland Garros.

According to the latest reports, the tournament will allow a maximum of 5,000 spectators each day – a significant cut from a previous plan which was set at 11,500.

"The evolving hygiene situation in the Paris area has prompted the Paris police department to limit the number of spectators who may enter Roland Garros," said the FFT on Thursday, via BBC.

With France recording its highest number of positive cases with 10,593 on Thursday, the FFT said they will “assume the responsibility” in ensuring that safety will be prioritized in the event.

US Open champion Naomi Osaka of Japan has pulled out of the upcoming French Open with a left hamstring injury US Open champion Naomi Osaka of Japan has pulled out of the upcoming French Open with a left hamstring injury Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / MATTHEW STOCKMAN