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Women’s tennis Hamstring injury causes Naomi Osaka to miss French Open

US Open champion Naomi Osaka has pulled out of the French Open because of an injured left hamstring.

Osaka joins defending champion Ash Barty in skipping the French Open, which opens on September 27 in Paris.

In another blow to the clay Grand Slam, tournament organisers announced a further reduction in crowd sizes, because of France’s worsening coronavirus epidemic.

The new limit, decreed by the Paris police department, is 5,000 spectators per day, organisers said in a statement late on Thursday.

They’d previously been planning for 11,500 spectators, split among three sites at Roland Garros.

“It is important for the sporting, social and economic life of the country that a major event like Roland Garros can be put on while respecting health imperatives,” organisers said.

Osaka, who is ranked No 3, hurt the hamstring last month at the Western & Southern Open, also in New York, and withdrew from that tournament’s final because of it, then wore heavy tape during the US Open.

“Unfortunately I won’t be able to play the French Open this year,” Osaka said on Twitter. “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.”

Osaka would not have been a favourite on the clay surface. The US Open title was her third major tournament title.

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