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Osaka [hand] withdraws from Italian Open

World No. 1 Naomi Osaka is a doubt for the French Open after withdrawing from her quarterfinal at the Italian Open with a hand injury.

Osaka had been due to take on Madrid Open champion Kiki Bertens in the quarterfinals in Rome, but a ‘pain’ to her right hand forced her withdrawal.

The injury comes just 10 days before the start of the French Open, with the opening round of the season’s second Grand Slam starting on May 27.

“I woke up this morning and couldn’t really move my thumb,” Osaka told reporters. “I tried to practice and grip my racket but I couldn’t, and I kept feeling this pain when I tried to move my hand in different directions.

“Right now I’m… in between sad and disappointed because I really wanted to play my match today. For me, it was sort of a test to play against Kiki because she’s playing really well and I wanted to see how well I could do today.

“I didn’t feel anything yesterday. That’s why I’m kind of confused right now because I literally woke up in the morning and couldn’t move my thumb. So I was like, maybe I slept on it and maybe it will go away, but it didn’t.”

Rain washed out play in the Italian Open on Wednesday, forcing most of the field to play two games in one day yesterday, with Osaka earning straight-sets victories against Dominika Cibulkova and Mihaela Buzarnescu.

Those victories had clinched Osaka the No. 1 seed for the French Open, but it remains to be seen whether the injury will impact her participation in Paris.

The US and Australian Open champion has looked in good form during the clay court season, but this is not the first injury suffered by Osaka in the build-up to Roland Garros. An abdominal injury at the Stuttgart Open three weeks ago forced her to withdraw ahead of her semifinal there.

Bertens will automatically progress into the semifinals in Rome, where she will face either Johanna Konta or or Marketa Vondrousova on Saturday.

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