Naomi Osaka Promises Return To Tennis Competition Early 2024

Naomi Osaka will be back to reclaim her championship spot sooner than anyone expected, and she owes it all to her adorable daughter!

The tennis superstar became a first-time mom in July, welcoming her baby girl, Shai, with the rapper Cordae. Due to her pregnancy, the 25-year-old withdrew from this year’s Australian Open tournament.

However, she attended the ongoing US Open competition to announce her return to the court. The biracial athlete revealed she already has her schedule packed with matches, a challenging position she undertook thanks to her newfound motivation as a mother.

Naomi Osaka Confirms Her Tennis Comeback Will Occur At The 2024 Australian Open

During a recent appearance at the US Open, the Japanese beauty opened up about her plans for the next tennis tournament. The four-time Grand Slam singles champion confirmed she would return at next year’s Australian Open tournament.

Naomi Osaka at 2022 Roland Garros - Day 2

Speaking to ESPN about her schedule, the Glamour Award winner confessed it was significantly packed with more games than one would expect, given her pregnancy hiatus. “It’s definitely way more tournaments than I used to play,” the media personality declared. “I think some people will be happy with that.”

According to “The Way Champs Play” author, she was not coerced into accepting the intense workload. Instead, the 25-year-old willingly chose to fill up her days with tournaments because she was skeptical about her abilities once she returned.

The co-owner of the North Carolina Courage female football team explained she was concerned about how she would fare being back on the court. To ensure she could handle the transition, the busy schedule was necessary to ease herself back into the competition.

“At least I’m going to set myself up for a very good end of the year,” Osaka noted, adding that she had “definitely” missed being part of the game. Expressing her desire to return, the 25-year-old gushed, “I’ve been watching matches, and I’m like, ‘I wish I was playing too.’”

Despite longing to join her colleagues on the court, the biracial superstar clarified that she had no regrets about taking a hiatus. Speaking like a proud mother, the athlete claimed her daughter had given her the strength to return.

In the ESPY Award recipient’s words: “But I’m in this position now, and I’m very grateful. I really love my daughter a lot, but it has really fueled a fire in me.”

The pregnancy hiatus was not the first time Osaka had taken a break from tennis, as she previously backed out of the 2021 French Open to prioritize her mental health. She also addressed the topic during a mental health forum at the US Open.

Naomi Osaka makes return to US Open
Instagram |Naomi Osaka

Osaka’s visit to the ongoing game marked her return to the US Open for the first time since welcoming her daughter. A day after her appearance, the media personality updated her Instagram page with pictures of her glam for the event.

The images unveiled a new style for the Japanese beauty, who skipped her curly brunette tresses for a cute fringe with straight waves. The mother of one also brought summer to the show with an off-the-shoulder yellow dress.

However, the post’s highlight was the entertainer’s accessories. The Evolve sports agency founder rocked two necklaces with letter pendants. Together, the words could be read as “SHAI Mama” or “Mama SHAI,” referencing the 25-year-old’s daughter.

The BET Award Winner Slammed Fans Who Claimed Her Baby Would Affect Her Career

Osaka’s swift return to tennis, thanks to her daughter, is undoubtedly the biggest clapback against the athlete’s critics. Months before welcoming Shai, the entertainer called out fans who believed motherhood would negatively impact her career as an athlete. 

On May 12, the two-time Australian Open champion fired back at the unsolicited opinions about her then-unborn child in a fiery post on Twitter. In her lengthy message, the 25-year-old noted that critics should redirect their concerns as her position as a G.O.A.T was unaffected by her pregnancy.

Pregnant Naomi Osaka at her gender reveal party

“Btw to the people that are suddenly concerned about my career- Plenty of male athletes with kids are significantly less accomplished. You might wanna worry about them instead,” the former WTA world No. 1 ranker quipped.

“Thanks for the concern. Might wanna redirect it to someone that needs it, though,” the media personality concluded. In a second tweet, the 2020 Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year honoree clarified her post’s intent. “Not trying to make this a male and female thing, but let’s be fr,” the tennis superstar penned.

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