Second-seed and Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka on Saturday crashed out of the ongoing Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati after retiring hurt during the third set of her quarter-final clash against American tennis player Sofia Kenin.
After losing the opening set, reigning US Open champion Osaka rebounded strongly to win the second set against Kenin before she was forced to withdraw from the match while trailing at 4-6, 6-1, 0-2 in the last-four clash of the women's singles event.
The world number two bounced back strongly from a set down to clinch six of the next eight games. However, in the second game of the decider, she came down on her left leg following a serve and called the trainer. Subsequently, Osaka was evaluated and receivied a tape around the knee before eventually retiring from the match.
Reflecting on the same, Osaka said that she had never felt so much pain before.
The thing is, my pain tolerance is really high. So that's usually why I play through things that apparently I shouldn't. So I really don't know what's going on with my leg right now.I was asking the physio if it was safe to play, because I really hate withdrawing. I feel like we were playing such a great match, too. It's not fair to her to just withdraw, because I feel like I'm bowing out," the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) quoted Osaka as saying.
"Then I was asking the physio if she thinks it's safe to play. Then I went out there. I wanted to finish the set. But I felt it wasn't safe," she added.
Osaka, who made back-to-back quarter-final finish in Toronto and Cincinnati, will now shift her focus on the US Open, which is slated to take place from August 26 in New York.
Kenin, on the other hand, will look to book her place in the final of the Cincinnati Open whe she locks horns with No.16 seed Madison Keys in an all-American semi-final clash on Sunday.