The organizers of the Australian Open tennis tournament, which begins on January 16, announced on Sunday the withdrawal of two-time champion Naomi Osaka, without elaborating.
The Japanese former world number one was on the Australian Open list, but Osaka was not scheduled to play in the friendly tournaments in Adelaide and Hobart, raising doubts about her participation in the major tournament on hard courts.
"Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from the Australian Open. We will miss her at the tournament. Diana Yastremska will move into the main draw," the Australian Open said on Twitter.
Osaka, the Melbourne Park champion in 2019 and 2021, has not participated in the WTA tournaments since her withdrawal from Brazilian Beatrice Haddad Maya in the second round of the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo last September due to illness.
Her withdrawal comes just one day after seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams withdrew due to injury, in a double whammy for organizers.
Osaka, who has fallen in the world rankings to 42, took a break to prioritize her mental health after missing the 2021 French Open and later said she was battling depression.