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By Richard Pagliaro | @Tennis_Now | Friday, February 16, 2024

A pair of Grand Slam champions are out of Dubai. 

Four-time major champion Naomi Osaka and 2021 Roland Garros singles and doubles champion Barbora Krejcikova have each withdrawn from next week's Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

More: Richard Evans Q&A

Organizers announced the withdrawals on the tournament's official website.

Krejcikova, who toppled world No1 Iga Swiatek in straight sets in last year’s final to lift her maiden Dubai title, was forced out the WTA 1000 event as she battles an ongoing back issue.

“It’s with a heavy heart that I announce my withdrawal from the Dubai tournament,” the world No. 12 said. “This decision wasn’t easy, especially given my fond memories and anticipation to compete again.

"However, my back injury requires further healing time. But I am committed to returning stronger next year.”

Continuing her comeback from maternity leave, Osaka reached the Doha quarterfinals yesterday bowing to Karolina Pliskova. Osaka, who did not cite an official reason in her withdrawal, is aiming to return at Indian Wells next month.

“I’m really sorry that I have to withdraw from the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships this season,” Osaka said in a statement. “I have loved playing in Dubai in previous years, and I want to wish the tournament organizers a successful event in 2024.”

Photo credit: Robert Prange/Getty