Naomi Osaka to make comeback at the Silicon Valley Classic

Naomi Osaka

Former World No 1 Naomi Osaka has accepted a wild card entry into the main draw of the Silicon Valley Classic at San José State University.

Osaka limped out of the French Open before taking time off to rehabilitate an achilles injury but is set to return to competitive tennis at the Bay Area event that gets underway on 1 August.

It is a fitting tournament for Osaka to return to the WTA Tour at, having made her main draw debut when it was staged at Stanford in 2014.

Osaka returns to the Silicon Valley Classic for the first time since 2017.

The tournament is owned by Osaka’s former agency, IMG, but the wildcard appears to indicate the split was an amicable one.

“We are very excited to have Naomi Osaka returning to the Bay Area,” said tournament director Vickie Gunnarsson.

“She made her WTA debut at our event and watching her grow both on and off the court has been amazing.”

Gunnarsson added, “She is not only an incredible player but her commitment to equality and social change is truly inspiring.”

Osaka joins six top ten players in the main draw with No 3 Maria Sakkari, No 4 Paula Badosa, No 5 Ons Jabeur, No 6 Aryna Sabalenka, No 8 Danielle Collins and No 9 Garbiñe Muguruza all confirmed.

Also in the field is French Open finalist Coco Guaff, ensuring that some of the most exciting young talents in tennis will turn out in San Jose.

“We are thrilled to have such a strong player field this year and given the huge increase in ticket demand we have seen it is obvious the tennis community is excited as well,” said Gunnarsson.

“Having a player as talented as Coco (Gauff), the No. 11 player in the world and a Grand Slam finalist, competing so early in the event is great for our fans.”

Former winners of the tournament include Serena Williams, Lindsay Davenport, Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Andrea Jaeger, Monica Seles, Martina Hingis, Venus Williams, and Kim Clijsters.

Co-founded by Billie Jean King, the Silicon Valley Classic was the first event of the 1971 women’s professional tennis tour, a precursor to the WTA Tour.