Osaka And Defending Champion Krejcikova Withdraw From Dubai Championships

Osaka And Defending Champion Krejcikova Withdraw From Dubai Championships

by Nurein Ahmed

The 2024 Dubai Championships is around the corner, but a pair of big names will not headline this tournament.

The Middle East swing will pull the curtain down at the end of next week, with Dubai set to be the center stage for the second WTA 1000 tournament of the calendar, where a slew of top-ranked women are expected to vie for the trophy and a huge paycheck.

But Naomi Osaka and Barbora Krejickova will not be competing, the tournament has confirmed in a statement on Thursday. Japenese star Osaka was competing at this week's Qatar Open in Doha, where she was knocked out in the quarterfinal by Karolina Pliskova.

The four-time Grand Slam champion is still in the infancy stage of her comeback season. Osaka recently ended her three-match losing streak in Doha, where she played some of her best tennis and achieved her best result since rejoining the tour at this year's Australian summer.

She had been out of action since September 2022 and took a maternity break for the entire 2023 season, during which she gave birth to her first child, a baby daughter named Shai. No reason has been given regarding Osaka's absence in Dubai, but the 26-year-old issued a statement.

"I’m really sorry that I have to withdraw from the Dubai Duty-Free Tennis Championships this season. I have loved playing in Dubai in previous years, and I want to wish the tournament organizers a successful event in 2024."

Osaka's statement was published on the tournament's website.

Meanwhile, Krejcikova was expected to defend her title at the Dubai Championships. She sensationally defeated both Aryna Sabalenka and Iga Swiatek to win the tournament last year. The Czech was last seen in action at the Abu Dhabi Open, losing to Liudmila Samosnova in the quarterfinal.

Krejcikova withdrew from Doha and has now followed suit by pulling out from Dubai, citing a back injury as the primary cause behind her latest decision, as revealed on the tournament's website.

"We regret to inform you that Barbora Krejcikova and Naomi Osaka have pulled out of this year’s tournament. We wish both players the best of luck for the rest of 2024 and look forward to seeing both players return to Dubai in the near future."

  Statement from Dubai Tennis Championships 


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