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BC-TEN--Italian Open,1st Ld-Writethru

May 17, 2019
AP Sports Writer

ROME (AP) — Top-ranked Naomi Osaka withdrew from her Italian Open quarterfinal due to a right hand injury on Friday.

Osaka was scheduled to meet Kiki Bertens, who advanced to the semifinals via walkover.

“I woke up this morning and couldn’t really move my thumb,” Osaka said. “I tried to practice and grip my racket but I couldn’t, and I kept feeling this pain when I tried to move my hand in different directions.”

Osaka couldn’t immediately say how serious the injury was, or if it will affect her status for the French Open, which starts in nine days. She was yet to see a doctor but when she held her hand up for reporters to see it was clearly swollen.

Osaka won two matches on Thursday after rain a day earlier backed up play — guaranteeing she will remain No. 1 going into Roland Garros.

“I didn’t feel anything yesterday. That’s why I’m kind of confused right now because I literally woke up in the morning and couldn’t move my thumb,” Osaka said. “So I was like, ‘Maybe I slept on it and maybe it will go away.’ But it didn’t.”

Bertens, who won the Madrid Open last week, will face Marketa Vondrousova or Johanna Konta for a spot in the final.

The quarterfinals in the other half of the draw feature former No. 1 Victoria Azarenka against Karolina Pliskova, and Kristina Mladenovic against Maria Sakkari in a matchup of two qualifiers.

Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic were also playing quarterfinals later.

Osaka also withdrew before a semifinal in Stuttgart, Germany, last month due to an abdominal injury. And she retired from her previous meeting with Bertens at last year’s WTA Finals with a leg injury.

“I feel like the ab thing could have been helped, but this one I don’t think I could have helped it because I don’t know what caused it,” Osaka said. “I don’t know why I have it.”

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