Tennis star Naomi Osaka, who gave birth to daughter Shai with rapper Cordae in July, says she will return to the court for the Brisbane International tournament, which runs from Dec. 31 through Jan. 7 in Australia.Formerly ranked No. 1 in the world, Osaka, 26, has yet to play in the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) in over a year. But the Brisbane tournament is a friendly place for her to return because it’s generally considered a good tune-up for the Australian Open, where she won Grand Slam titles in 2019 and 2021. She won her other two Grand Slams in the U.S. Open in 2018 and 2020.
Osaka, the daughter of a Haitian-American father and a Japanese mother, says she “can’t wait to return” to the game, but she hasn’t always felt that way. In 2021, she confessed to battling with long bouts of depression and withdrew from the French Open that May, citing mental health struggles. Additionally, there have been rumors that she and Cordae have since broken up.“The Brisbane International is such a great tournament and will set me up for a brilliant comeback this summer,” Osaka said.
The tennis star says she is gearing up for a busy 2024, planning “way more tournaments than I used to play.” How long it will take her to return to top form is one of the questions that must be answered, given that she last played a WTA match in September 2022. She beat Daria Saville in the first round of the Pan Pacific Open before withdrawing because of abdominal pain before her second-round match with Beatriz Haddad Maia. She hasn’t been seen on the court in a tournament since.
Source: Rolling Out