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    Thursday, September 23, 2021

    Naomi Osaka withdraws from Indian Wells

    Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells to extend her break from tennis.

    The former world No 1 said after losing in the third round of the US Open earlier this month that she does not know when she will play again.

    Osaka has been open about her mental health issues and the challenges she has been dealing with on and off the court this year.

    No official reason has been given for her withdrawal from Indian Wells, which is one of the two last big events on the 2021 calendar along with the season-ending WTA Finals in Mexico.

    Osaka has slipped out of the top five in the world this week, dropping to No 8 in the WTA rankings.

    Speaking after her shock loss to Leylah Fernandez at the US Open, the 23-year-old said: “This is very hard to articulate. Basically I feel like I’m kind of at this point where I’m trying to figure out what I want to do, and I honestly don’t know when I’m going to play my next tennis match. Sorry.

    “I think I’m going to take a break from playing for a while. How do I go around saying this? I feel like for me recently 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.”

    Indian Wells has been rescheduled from its usual spot in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic and is set to feature most of the top players in the world. It will run from October 4 through October 17 and will be at full capacity.

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