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'Sad and disappointed' Osaka pulls out of Rome in French Open scare

AFP  |  Rome 

World number one said she was "between sad and disappointed" after pulling out of the Italian Open before Thursday's quarter-finals with just a week before the start of

"I woke up this morning and I couldn't really move my thumb," the 21-year-old told a press conference.

"I can't move my hand. I can't move my thumb and I'm not sure I can play my match.

"I tried to practice and grip my racket and I just felt this every time I tried to move my hand in different directions." The Japanese star was due to meet Open champion and sixth seed Kiki Bertens for a place in the final four in

"Right now I'm not mad, but between sad and disappointed," she continued.

"For me it was a test to play against Kiki because she's playing really well and I wanted to see how well I could do.

"I didn't feel anything yesterday. I'm pretty confused when I woke up and couldn't move my thumb, I thought I slept on it and maybe it'll go away but it didn't.

"I haven't seen the doctor the yet. I've seen the physio," she said.

said she could stay in before going on to the French Open, but did not rule out competing in

"I'm going to stay here for one more day and see how it is," she said.

"I haven't really talked to everyone so don't really know the plan is yet. I've never had this problem before, it's brand new."

"I'm going to take it like how I went to Australia," added Osaka, who had also retired with a leg against Bertens in the WTA finals last October before going on to win the

"Grand Slams to me are like a playground, I have a lot of fun there."

- Finding her feet on clay -


won twice on after the previous day's play was rained off, retaining the world number one ranking ahead of

She eased into the last eight in with a 6-3 6-3 win over Mihaela Buzarnescu, after earlier beating Slovak by the same scoreline, as players doubled up after the previous day was washed out.

Osaka had needed to make the quarter-finals to ensure Romanian could not swipe the number one ranking and with it top seeding in starting on May 26.

But Osaka's top spot was guaranteed when reigning champion Halep fell to Czech Marketa Vondrousova 2-6 7-5 6-3 in the second round.

Osaka, who broke through by winning last year and this year, did not survive the second round in her two previous appearances in Rome.

"I'm sad I've never gone this far here," she said.

"Yesterday the crowd was super nice to me and I wanted to get on centre court to pay them back, but I can't even do that." Before this year Osaka had never made the last eight of any clay tournament, but has now also reached the semi-finals in and quarter-finals in as she warms up for the second Grand Slam of the season in

"I would describe (my clay season) as 'rocky'," Osaka said.

"But I mean, I can't necessarily say it's been ups and downs because if I think about it, it's definitely been going up.

"Every match that I've played I've learned a lot. I've tried to take what I've learned into the next match and I think I've done that well.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, May 17 2019. 17:06 IST