US Open: Naomi Osaka withdraws from tournament ‘like a punch to the gut’

Media playback is not supported on this device Ricardas Berankis heartbroken after Osaka pulled out

US Open, Flushing Meadows (NYC): Stanford University’s Patrick McEnroe said Naomi Osaka’s withdrawal from the US Open on Monday was like a “punch to the gut”.

Osaka, 20, had been due to meet Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber on Tuesday in New York.

American McEnroe said playing the powerful German would “be a challenge”.

“I don’t know what’s going on over there [with Osaka],” he added. “Hopefully I can figure it out and find out how she’s doing.”

McEnroe won two doubles titles at the US Open with his sister Chris and was sent away from the tournament in Flushing Meadows following his row with the officials.

In an interview with BBC Sport, he described the 2014 row with International Tennis Federation officials as “an unfortunate incident”.

“The US Open, it’s full of good people,” he said. “I don’t think it’s an organisation that’s abusing the players or the sport.

“It’s unfortunate that the off-court stuff happens.”

United States Tennis Association (USTA) officials issued a statement on Monday in which they confirmed Osaka had withdrawn after learning of her “medical condition”.

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