Injury forces Federer out of Rome quarters

Rome: Roger Federer pulled out of his Italian Open quarter-final clash against Stefanos Tsitsipas due to an injury in his right leg, organisers said on Friday.

The 37-year-old Swiss, who was making a return to the European clay court season after two years, won back-to-back matches against Joao Sousa and Borna Coric on Thursday to reach the last eight stage. “Unfortunately, King Roger had to withdraw from the tournament due to an injury in his right leg,” the tournament organisers wrote on Twitter.

“We wish him a fast recovery. Thank you for the incredible emotions.” The injury casts doubts over his preparation for this month’s French Open, with only five matches on clay under his belt heading into the second Grand Slam of the year.

Following his quarter-final exit at the Australian Open, the 20-time GS champion won his 100th career singles title in Dubai and added another crown in Miami.

Federer, bidding for only his second French Open crown, will look to regain fitness ahead of the event starting in Paris on May 26.
Women’s world number one Naomi Osaka pulled out of the Italian Open quarter-finals with a right thumb injury.

The 21-year-old was scheduled to face sixth seed Kiki Bertens after coming through two matches on Thursday. But the Japanese said she was forced to withdraw due to pain and swelling at the base of her thumb. “I woke up this (Friday) morning and couldn’t really move my thumb,” Osaka told reporters. “I tried to practice and grip my racket but I couldn’t. I kept feeling this pain when I tried to move my hand in different directions. Right now I’m in between sad and disappointed because I really wanted to play my match.”

NT Bureau