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Naomi Osaka’s Australian Open status remains unclear as 2023 tournament nears

Naomi Osaka
via Good Morning America

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    With the first Grand Slam tennis tournament of 2023 set to begin in less than two weeks, many are still wondering if two-time Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka will compete.

    Osaka, 25, reportedly reposted a photo of herself in a U.S.-based pilates studio on social media on Wednesday. However, it is unclear when the picture was taken, and as of this writing, the post cannot be found on her Instagram or Twitter accounts.

    Although her name is still on the official Australian Open entry list, Osaka does not seem to appear on the list of participants for the warm-up tournaments scheduled in the Australian cities of Adelaide or Hobart next week.

    Tennis officials have purportedly accepted that Osaka might not appear at Melbourne Park when the Australian Open begins on Jan. 16.

    If she does withdraw from the tournament, the four-time Grand Slam winner will join the list of renowned tennis players who will opt out of the Australian Open this year, including Australian player Ash Barty and Swiss player Roger Federer.

    Osaka, who won her first Australian Open in 2019, suffered several bouts of injuries and illnesses over the past few months.

    After suffering from an Achilles injury earlier in 2022, she notably took time off to look after her mental health.

    The last time Osaka was present on the court was during the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo in September 2022. However, after falling ill, she had to withdraw from the tournament.

    Off the court, Osaka has presumably been busy handling her businesses, including her production company Hana Kuma.

    She was recently highlighted as the highest-paid female athlete in 2022 by Forbes. Her sports management agency, Evolve, which she founded alongside her agent Stuart Duguid, welcomed the Women’s Tennis Association’s No. 2 player Ons Jabeur on Thursday after the Tunisian player signed with them.

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