World number 3, Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from the WTA Finals in Shenzhen after she sustained a shoulder injury, tournament organisers announced on Tuesday.
The Japanese world was set for a rematch against Australian and top-seeded Ash Barty later in the day. Her place in the tournament will now be taken by alternate Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands.
“I’m disappointed to have to withdraw from the Finals,” Osaka said. “It has been a great event in Shenzhen, and it’s the biggest WTA event of the year. This is not how I wanted to end this tournament or my season.
“I look forward to getting healthy and hope to be back here in Shenzhen next year.”
Osaka defeated Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic 7-6(1) 4-6 6-4 on Sunday to set up the widely anticipated match.
Fans are undoubtedly disappointed with the development but wish Osaka quick recovery.
Osaka announced herself to the world when she defeated Serena Williams last year and finished the year world number one, a position she later surrendered to Barty in the second quarter of 2019.