Naomi Osaka pulls out of Qatar Open with injury

World number one Naomi Osaka in action during the Australian Open final against Czech Petra Kvitova

World number one Naomi Osaka in action during the Australian Open final against Czech Petra Kvitova

The reigning Australian Open champion, Naomi Osaka has pulled out from the Qatar Open in Doha due to her unspecified back injury.

No more details were given about the injury but Osaka, 21, also withdrew from the Hong Kong Open last October because of problems with her back.

After the Australian Open, Osaka became the first Japanese singles player to be ranked number one in the world.

"I wish everyone a great week and hope to see everyone next year", she added.

"I feel for having to withdraw from a tournament that I would have loved to play", said Osaka, who is back in the United States following her championship clash won over Petra Kvitova last month in Melbourne.

Simona Halep, the Romanian who Osaka replaced as world number one, Karolina Pliskova and Angelique Kerber head up the field in Doha from February 11.

Japanese Osaka is now the US Open and Australian Open champion.

Some of the others expected to take part are Elina Svitolina, Ash Barty and Anastasija Sevastova.

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