Where will Naomi Osaka start her comeback season in 2024
Former world No 1 Naomi Osaka startled and even alarmed a few with the speed with which she returned to training for her comeback to tennis after giving birth.
Osaka progressed quickly, and there seemed to be a chance she might even hit the court in some capacity in 2023.
The Japan star, who currently lives in Beverly Hills in the United States with partner Cordae, has announced exactly where she will make her return to competition in 2024.
Osaka, who made back-to-back semifinal appearances at the Brisbane International in 2019 and 2020, returns to the event to start her comeback season in 2024.
“I am really excited about getting back out on court and competing. I always love starting my season in Brisbane and can’t wait to return,” said Osaka.
Osaka joins the growing ranks of mums on the WTA Tour with a point to prove alongside the likes of Elina Svitolina and Caroline Wozniacki.
“The Brisbane International is such a great tournament and will set me up for a brilliant comeback this summer.”
Four-time major champion Osaka has not played a tournament on the WTA Tour since the 2022 Toray Pan Pacific in Tokyo during what was also a disrupted season for the former rankings queen.
Osaka said during her time away from tennis that her passion for the sport had been reignited and she was eager to return in full force in 2024 in Australia.
“The past few years have been interesting to say the least, but I find that its the most challenging times in life that may be the most fun,” Osaka wrote on Instagram.
“These few months away from the sport have really given me a new love and appreciation for the game l’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.”
Osaka won her second and fourth Grand Slam titles in Melbourne in 2019 and 2021 respectively and looks set to play just the Brisbane International before the Australian Open.
She has not added her name to the entry list for the WTA 500 Adelaide International, which has so far drawn confirmed entries from the likes of Elena Rybakina, Zheng Qinwen and Caroline Garcia.
If Osaka is close to her best, her hard court prowess could allow her to make up ground on the WTA Rankings in a hurry with the Grand Slam in January, a pair of WTA 1000 events in February and the Sunshine Double in March, giving her a great wicket for a fast start to her 2024 campaign.
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