Osaka withdraws from French Open with injury

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Tennis star Naomi Osaka of Japan has withdrawn from the upcoming French Open with a hamstring injury.

Osaka made the announcement on Twitter Thursday, thanking fans for their support.

The 22-year-old had her left hamstring taped when she defeated Victoria Azarenka last Saturday in the U.S. Open final in New York -- fighting her way to her third Grand Slam title.

On Twitter Osaka said quote: "My hamstring is still sore so I won't have time to prepare for the clay - these two tournaments came too close to each other for me this time."

The hamstring issue had prompted her to withdraw from the final of the Western & Southern Open in the run-up to the U.S. Open -- but did not appear to hamper her in New York.

Osaka made headlines at the U.S. Open not only for her performances on court, but also for her demonstrated commitment to social justice causes.

For each of her matches she wore a different mask bearing the name of a Black American, aiming to highlight racial injustice in the United States to a wider audience.

The French Open will be held from September 27 to October 11 after being moved from its usual late May-June slot due to the global health crisis.

The French Tennis Federation announced Thursday they would be further limiting the number of spectators allowed at the tournament.

Osaka's withdrawal comes after another blow to the tournament after world number one Ash Barty of Australia said she would not be defending her title due to concerns over the global health crisis.

Osaka's absence would also improve American Serena Williams's chances of winning a record-tying 24th Grand Slam title if she chooses to play.

The 38-year-old has also been battling back an injury.