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Naomi Osaka pulls out of Qatar Open with injury

Osaka, who was set play for the first time since her Australian Open triumph, has suffered from back problems in the past.

World number one Naomi Osaka in action during the Australian Open final against Czech Petra Kvitova. Picture: @AustralianOpen/Twitter.

TOKYO - World number one Naomi Osaka has pulled out of next week’s Qatar Open with an unspecified back injury, tournament organisers said on Tuesday.

Osaka, who was set play for the first time since her Australian Open triumph, has suffered from back problems in the past.

“I am sorry to have withdrawn from Doha this year as I was looking forward to playing and seeing my fans there,” the 21-year-old said in a statement.

“I wish everyone a great week and hope to see everyone next year.”

Simona Halep, the Romanian who Osaka replaced as world number one, Karolina Pliskova and Angelique Kerber head up the field in Doha from 11 February.

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