Ahead of the highly-anticipated US Open, four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka retired from opening match on Tuesday at the Toronto Masters with lower back pain. Estonia's Kaia Kanepi moved into the second round of the National Bank Open after her opponent and Japanese counterpart called it quit trailing 7-6 (7/4), 3-0.
The shocking turn of events broke Osaka into tears as she admitted that she was in pain even before the match but she kept pushing herself hard. "I felt pain in my back from the start of the match and despite trying my best to push through it I just could not survive throughout the match," Osaka said.
The dynamic tennis player further credited her opponent for playing well and wished her luck for the rest of the tournament. Prior to this game, both the players faced each other in 2017 US Open when Kanepi edged Osaka 7-5 in the third set of the third round.
The 37-year-old Kanepi lauded Osaka for keeping her on her toes by playing aggressive game despite being in the pain. "She is one of the most competitive Tennis player right now. She felt so much pain but still gave me hard time on court and kept the game tight. I felt I needed little more time to get used to new things, but after some time I felt comfortable," added Kanepi.
Kanepi has recently rose to World number 31 in this week's rankings which is also her highest position since 2014. Kanepi will now face 8th seeded Garbine Muguruza of Spain in the next round. Kanepi and Muguruza have faced twice before and each enjoyed the victory once. Murguruza defeated Kanepi in the first round of the 2014 Australian Open, but Kanepi stunned Muguruza at Roland Garros.