Former world number one Naomi Osaka unsurprisingly withdrew from October`s Indian Wells Masters, having flagged a break from tennis following her US Open meltdown.
Osaka’s absence was confirmed by organisers on Wednesday, with the Indian Wells Masters scheduled to take place from Oct. 4 to Oct. 17.
This was after the 2020 edition was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Her US Open title defence came crashing down in a remarkable 7-5 6-7 (2-7) 4-6 thord-round capitulation at the hands of eventual finalist Leylah Fernandez earlier this month.
The four-time major champion Osaka lost her cool and composure after throwing her racquet three times in an unsuccessful second-set tie-break.
Amid boos in New York, Japanese star Osaka was also warned after hitting a ball into the crowd at Flushing Meadows.
After the surprise exit, Osaka told reporters she planned to “take a break from playing for a while.”
She added: “I feel like, for me recently, like, when I win I don’t feel happy. I feel more like a relief. And then when I lose, I feel very sad. I don’t think that’s normal. I didn’t really want to cry.”
Osaka said this has come after a difficult couple of months due to mental health concerns as a result of “long bouts of depression” since winning the 2018 US Open.
She withdrew from May’s French Open having won her first-round match, after she was fined and threatened with further punishment for skipping obligatory media duties.
There was also a threat of possible expulsion from the grand slam then.
She subsequently pulled out of Wimbledon before returning for the Olympic Games, though she suffered a surprise loss on home soil in Tokyo.(dpa/NAN)