‘Coach’ Nick Kyrgios’ touching message to Naomi Osaka ahead of former world No 1’s return

Naomi Osaka celebrates after her match

Naomi Osaka has upped her training ahead of her return to competitive tennis and Nick Kyrgios has been on hand to provide some serving tips to the four-time Grand Slam winner.

After announcing at the beginning of the year that she would take a hiatus in 2023 as she was expecting her first child, Osaka gave birth to a baby girl named Shai in July.

But not long after becoming a first-time mother the former world No 1 returned to the practice courts and it was confirmed in November that she would play at next year’s Australian Open.

Her official comeback tournament was revealed earlier this week as organisers of the Brisbane International have announced she will be in the main draw of the WTA 500 event, which gets underway on January 1 in Australia.

With only a few weeks left before the 2024 campaign gets underway, Osaka has been hard at work and she recently had some practice sessions with Kyrgios and the Australian was more than happy to offer a helping hand.

In a post on Instagram, Kyrgios wrote: “The best part of [the] journey is realising that we can all learn something from someone.

“Will be following and supporting your comeback @naomiosaka !! Happy to help anytime. The whole Kyrgios team is behind you.”

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The pair, of course, have links as Kyrgios became the first client of Evolve agency – a sports agency co-founded by Osaka – in June 2022.

It is also not the first time that the duo have practised together as they also went on training blocks in June last year and back then Kyrgios also expressed his admiration for the Japanese star.

“Naomi, I love what she brings to the sport. I think she’s an amazing athlete. She can play some great tennis, but what she can do off the court is even more inspirational,” he said.

“She has so many people looking up to her. She inspires millions of people and I think that’s something that I bring, as well.”

And while Osaka’s comeback tournaments have been confirmed, the Kyrgios camp has been mum about his potential return.

The former world No 13 played only one match in 2023 as he struggled with injury. He underwent knee surgery at the beginning of the year, but was expected to be out of action for only a couple of weeks, but ended up missing the bulk of the campaign.

Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley has expressed hope that Kyrgios will feature at the season-opening Grand Slam, but the 28-year-old is yet to make an announcement about his comeback date.

READ MORE: Where will Naomi Osaka start her comeback season in 2024

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