US Open champion Naomi Osaka and former World No.1 Victoria Azarenka have been forced out of the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open due to illness.
WTA Staff
September 23, 2018

WUHAN, China - US Open champion Naomi Osaka has been forced to pull out of the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open due to a viral illness, the tournament announced today.

The World No.7 announced her withdrawal following her 6-4, 6-4 loss to Karolina Pliskova in the final of the Toray Pan Pacific Open, Tokyo.

"I'm very sorry to have to withdraw from Wuhan. I look forward to playing in Wuhan next year," Osaka said in a statement.

Tournament co-director Fabrice Chouquet said: "Naomi has had an amazing few weeks and we're very sorry not to see her here in Wuhan. Of course we wish her a quick recovery from her illness. Thankfully we are blessed with a fantastic line-up of players this year - including nine other Grand Slam champions and the rest of the Top 10 - so there are still many, many fantastic world class players for fans to watch."

Osaka's withdrawal follows that of former World No.1 Victoria Azarenka, who pulled out of Wuhan earlier this weekend, also due to a viral illness that also forced her to retire to Camila Giorgi in the Tokyo quarterfinals.

"It's so disappointing not be to able to come to Wuhan but I just won't recover and be ready in time to perform the way you need to at such a strong tournament. I've always enjoyed coming back to Wuhan and I look forward to seeing everyone there in 2019." the Belarusian said in a statement.

Lucky Loser Polona Hercog will replace Osaka in the draw. Magdalena Rybarikova has also been forced to withdraw from the tournament with upper respiratory illness. She will be replaced by Lucky Loser Monica Niculescu.