Naomi Osaka sets new ambitions after revealing she is pregnant

Kevin Palmer
Naomi Osaka celebrates after her match

There has been plenty of speculation surrounding the future of Naomi Osaka in recent months and now the former world No 1 has dropped her biggest news yet after announcing she is pregnant.

Osaka confirmed last week that she will miss the first Grand Slam event of 2023 at the Australian Open, with no explanation given for her absence.

Now she has delighted her fans by announcing she is pregnant and has vowed to return to tennis when she has given birth.

Posting a picture of her pregnancy scan on her social media platforms, Osaka sent this message to her army of fans around the world.

“The past few years have been interesting to say the least, but I find that it’s the most challenging times in life that may be the most fun,” she wrote.

“These few months away from the sport has really given me a new love and appreciation for the game I’ve dedicated my life to.

“I realize that life is so short and I don’t take any moments for granted, everyday is a new blessing and adventure.

“I know that I have so much to look forward to in the future, one thing I’m looking forward to is for my kid to watch one of my matches and tell someone, “that’s my mom”, haha.

“2023 will be a year that’ll be full of lessons for me and I hope I’ll see you guys in the start of the next one cause I’ll be at Aus 2024. Love you all infinitely.”

The news has been greeted with joy by Osaka’s fans, who have been fascinated by her relationship with partner and American rapper Cordae since the couple got together in 2019.

Osaka and Cordaw are reported to have met at an NBA game in Los Angeles, where they hit it off.

“I just remember seeing that there were so many people who wanted to take a picture with him,” Osaka told GQ.

“And I just thought it was really cool how friendly and welcoming he was with everyone.”

Osaka endured a difficult 2022 on court and ended her season in September after pulling out of a second-round match of the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo.

She had won her first-round match at that tournament when Australia’s Daria Saville withdrew after one game with a knee injury.

Osaka has won only one completed match since May and was beaten in the first round of her three previous tournaments, including the US Open.

In her social-media post, the Japanese star suggested she would be able to compete in next year’s Australian Open.

Osaka has tasted success twice at Melbourne Park in 2019 and 2021 but exited in the third round to Amanda Anisimova last year.

She has also spoken out in recent years about her battles with mental health issues and withdrew from key events as she needed time away from the spotlight.

Osaka becomes the latest tennis player to take a break from the game after confirming she is pregnant.

Germany’s three-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber revealed her pregnancy in August, suggesting she will return after giving birth, while former world number three Elina Svitolina is expected to make her comeback this year after giving birth last October.

Serena Williams took a break to give birth in 2017 and returned later the same year, continuing to play before retiring in 2022.

Now Osaka will be looking to join the list of tennis players who have thrived on court after becoming mothers.

READ MORE: Who is Naomi Osaka’s boyfriend Cordae?