Naomi Osaka pulls out of Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo due to illness on Thursday.
The defending French Open and U.S. Open champion, who has won the last two major titles in Tokyo, decided to skip the tournament in the wake of a lingering stomach illness.
The 20-year-old world number one, who is second only to Serena Williams, won’t be playing in the second week of a double-elimination competition, following her defeat to Maria Sharapova, who won the first set in three sets, 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-3.
Osako, who reached her first major final in two years at the China Open last month, also lost in the last round of the Australian Open and French Open in 2017.
She is now ranked 45 in the world.
Meanwhile, Serena Williams lost in the first round of the Australian Open, while Karolina Pliskova, who is the world number three, withdrew after she was defeated by Kiki Bertens, who is in an all-Williams quarter-final.
Osako and Serena Williams, who are ranked within the top five, have a meeting planned for next week.