The defending Australian Open champion pulled out of the match at a WTA tournament in Melbourne with an abdominal injury, allowing her opponent Veronika Kudermetova to advance to the final on a walkover.

Four-times Grand Slam champion Osaka beat German Andrea Petkovic 6-1 7-5 in the quarter-final on Friday.
Four-times Grand Slam champion Osaka beat German Andrea Petkovic 6-1 7-5 in the quarter-final on Friday. (Reuters)

Top-seeded Naomi Osaka has pulled out of her Melbourne Summer Set 1 WTA event semi-final against Veronika Kudermetova, citing the intensity of recent games as cause for her withdrawal.

"Sad to withdraw due to injury from my match today, my body got a shock from playing back to back intense matches after the break I took," Osaka said on Saturday.

"I'll try to rest up and I'll see you soon!"

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Four-times Grand Slam champion Osaka beat German Andrea Petkovic 6-1 7-5 in the quarter-final on Friday, less than two weeks out from the start of the Australian Open.

After winning the Australian Open last year, Osaka withdrew from the French Open and Wimbledon over mental health issues, before her early US Open defeat.

During her absence after Flushing Meadows, she tried to live a normal life away from the pressures of the tennis tour, spending time with family and friends.

Osaka also pulled out of a warm-up event in the build-up to last year's Australian Open with "a niggling injury".

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies