‘I’m sorry to be missing out on Montreal,’ says Naomi Osaka as she leads high-profile withdrawals

Naomi Osaka in action

Naomi Osaka’s return to regular WTA Tour action has been delayed again after the four-time Grand Slam winner withdrew from the Canadian Open along with Iga Swiatek and Sofia Kenin.

The world No 2 has not played in a WTA tournament since pulling out of the French Open in order to protect her mental health, but she did make her return to competitive tennis at the Tokyo Olympics, losing in the third round.

Just days after confirming Osaka as the top seed for the US Open tune-up event in Montreal, organisers announced that the 23-year-old would not participate in the WTA 1000 tournaments.

“I’m sorry to be missing out on Montreal this year,” Osaka said. “I hope to see you all in Canada next year.”

Former Roland Garros champion Swiatek will also not feature in Canada this year as the Pole has decided she needs a few more days off.

“The first part of the season was so intense that I need a couple of days off to rest and prepare for the next few months,” the 20-year-old said.

Meanwhile, 2020 Australian Open champion Kenin is still recovering from a foot injury.

“While I’m making progress, my foot injury is not where I need it to be to play at the highest level,” the American said. “I feel another week of recovery and rehab is necessary.”

World No 3 Aryna Sabalenka will take over as top seed following Osaka’s withdrawal.