Naomi Osaka rumoured to be starting comeback season at the United Cup
Former world No 1 Naomi Osaka looks set to begin her comeback campaign by turning out for Japan in the United Cup.
This comes after the ASB Classic tournament director revealed the headline players for their event which runs parallel to the United Cup.
The team event takes place across multiple venues in Australia with men and women competing alongside one another in head-to-head battles.
Osaka is reportedly set to turn out for Japan as she would be guaranteed to get at least two matches in.
The ASB Classic reached out to Osaka to see if she would be interested in an outing in Auckland but she could not commit and they moved on to securing defending champion Coco Gauff and former world No 1 Caroline Wozniacki.
Auckland tournament director Nicolas Lamperin told New Zealand-based news outlet Stuff, that the ASB Classic operates with a limited budget and they need to be selective about their invitations.
“It was part of my initial thoughts (to get Osaka),” Lamperin said.
“But I was being told she wanted to play the United Cup (in Australia), on the basis that she would get a minimum of two matches.
“It was early in the process and we had to move on and get Coco and Caroline. The budget isn’t limitless, so we decided not to go after her in the end.”
Instead the ASB Classic recently announced that Wozniacki has agreed to turn out at an event that she is a two-time finalist at having lost the championship matches in 2015 and 2018.
“It is going to be my children’s first time there,” said Wozniacki.
“It’s amazing that I can come back and prepare as well as I can for the Australian Open.
“I love the fans in Auckland. It is always such a great event. I have always had an amazing time there.
“I thought it was going to be the best place for my preparation and the best place for my family to come and start the new season.”
Lamperin was thrilled to attract Wozniacki back to Auckland.
“Caroline is an extraordinary woman who is such a remarkable role model as a professional tennis player and person, and now showing that motherhood is no barrier.
“She has been a marvellous supporter of the ASB Classic and Auckland, and we are honoured and genuinely thrilled to host her back in our city.
“After watching her play in New York, I know that Caroline will be a genuine contender here.”
Iga Swiatek makes Aryna Sabalenka admission after their intense battle for year-end No 1 ranking
“She deserved it,” said Swiatek of Sabalenka.
ATP chief warns against ‘civil war’ in tennis amid radical breakaway tour rumours
Rumours of a breakaway tennis tour that would feature all four Grand Slam events have been circulating in recent months.
Nick Kyrgios joins Only Fans and promises to reveal ‘intimate side’ of his life
Kyrgios will not be displaying the most private parts of his relationship with his girlfriend Costeen Hatzi on his Only Fans page.
Rafael Nadal makes candid confession as he addresses whether 2024 will be his final season
Rafael Nadal has spoken openly about how much longer he is likely to keep playing.
How Novak Djokovic stepped to the next level by building his perfect tennis shoe
Djokovic saluted ASICS innovator Rene Zandbergen at a pre-Wimbledon event attended by Tennis365 last summer.
Jack Draper reveals Alzheimer’s disease has had a ‘cruel’ impact on one of his biggest tennis inspirations
Draper is working with Alzheimer’s Society in the UK and is hoping to raise awareness of what he describes as a ‘cruel’ condition.
Toni Nadal makes Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz admission as he assesses Rafael Nadal hopes
Toni Nadal has discussed his nephew’s chances of winning another French Open title.
Top coach explains how Jannik Sinner could replicate Novak Djokovic in big 2024 claim
Jannik Sinner has been backed to have a huge 2024 season and mirror something Novak Djokovic achieved.
Carlos Alcaraz reveals player who remains his idol as he names Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer as inspirations
Carlos Alcaraz has cited both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer as inspirations, but one legend is still his hero.
Novak Djokovic approach hailed in Serena Williams comparison by American great’s former coach
Novak Djokovic has been likened to his fellow tennis legend Serena Williams in his approach to the sport.