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Naomi Osaka withdraws from Melbourne tournament semifinal

2022 Melbourne Summer Set: Day 5

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 07: Naomi Osaka of Japan plays a forehand in her match against Andrea Petkovic of Germany during day five of the Melbourne Summer Set at Melbourne Park on January 07, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Kelly Defina/Getty Images)

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MELBOURNE, Australia -- Defending Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka withdrew from her semifinal match at a WTA tournament with an abdominal injury, allowing her opponent Veronika Kudermetova to advance to the final on a walkover.

“I had a lot of fun playing here in Melbourne. Unfortunately I have an abdominal injury which I need to rest and prepare for the Australian Open,” Osaka said in a statement issued by Tennis Australia.

“Sad to withdraw due to injury from my match today, my body got a shock from playing back to back intense matches after the break I took,” Osaka added later on Twitter. “I’ll try to rest up and I’ll see you soon!”

The Australian Open begins on Jan. 17.

Kudermetova on Sunday will face second-seeded Simona Halep, who beat Zheng Qinwen 6-3, 6-2 in the other semifinal Saturday in the Summer Set 1 event.

At the Adelaide International, Wimbledon champion and top-ranked Ash Barty beat former French Open winner Iga Swiatek 6-2, 6-4. In Sunday’s final, Barty will play Elena Rybakina, who beat Misaki Doi 6-4, 6-3.

American Amanda Anisimova advanced to her first final since 2019 with a 6-2, 6-0 win over Daria Kasatkina in the Summer Set 2 event at Rod Laver Arena. Anisimova will play Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus, who beat Ann Li 7-6 (4), 2-6, 6-3.

In the semifinals of an ATP tournament at Melbourne Park, Rafael Nadal beat Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori 6-4, 7-5. In Sunday’s final, Nadal will face American Maxime Cressy, who beat Grigor Dimitrov 7-5, 7-6 (9).

The Adelaide and Melbourne tournaments are among six tune-up events being staged in Australia this week ahead of the season-opening major at Melbourne Park.