Naomi Osaka Plans 2024 Australian Open Return

Naomi Osaka, the Japanese ex-number 1 and 4-time Grand Slam winner, has been labeled the most influential female tennis player since Serena Williams has been out of the bright lights.

Photo by Robert O’Neil/Splash News/ABACAPRESS.COM
Photo by Icon Sport

However, it’s now been over a year since she took time off due to mental health issues that started during the 2021 French Open. Osaka withdrew midway through the tournament after being fined by the organisers for refusing to speak to the press after matches. The Japanese had a turbulent year after that and in the autumn of 2022, she decided to step off the court for an extended period.

Mental Health Issues, Twitter Abuse, and Leaving the Tour

The outspoken Japanese is one of the most marketable athletes out there but she is also very outspoken and openly criticises authority and gets involved in public movements like Black Lives Matter. All this brings her many haters and at the end of 2021, Naomi Osaka was named the most abused athlete on Twitter. According to one study, she received 32,415 abusive tweets in 2021 alone. The nearest tennis player behind her in terms of abuse on Twitter was her good pal Serena Williams with “only” 18,000 abusive tweets that year.

Because of all that and Osaka’s naturally shy character, she made the smart decision to get out of the Tour. As her ex-coach Sascha Bajin revealed in an interview: “I thought she was a little bit more of a diva because she didn’t talk much. She doesn’t really look at someone’s eyes, but that’s just because she was always so shy…Back then I didn’t know for what reason.”

Naomi Osaka Pregnancy and Improved Mental Health

A year down the line and we think this has done Naomi a world of good as the news coming from her and her camp in recent months are all positive. Also, she started to make public appearances once more.

Also, Naomi and her boyfriend, rapper Cordeal, will have a baby soon, as Naomi herself announced on Twitter in March:

In that same Tweet, Osaka finishes her news that she will be becoming a mother at some point in June/July 2023 with other news that should excite her fans. She ends the message by saying: “…I’ll see you guys in the start of the next one cause I’ll be at 2024 Aus Open.”

Of course, that early in her pregnancy and with so many unknowns still heading her way in 2023, this could be seen as wishful thinking, but the most recent signs suggest that Naomi is really planning to be back on the Tour soon.

Her mental health has improved a lot since she took time off. She’s in a happy relationship, is about to become a mother for the first time and also resumed public appearances from April onward. In the last 3 months alone she got more and more involved with the professional US Soccer Women’s team North Carolina Courage. She has also become a main investor in a professional pickleball team that is about to be created in Miami, Florida.

On top of that, Osaka recently became a promoter of the “Panasonic Green Initiative” together with Michale Phelps and Nathan Chen. She’s also the main star of a hugely famous manga series published by the leading Japanese shojo magazine and co-drawn by Naomi’s sister Magi.

Naomi Plans a Return at the 2024 Australian Open?

Naomi Osaka
Photo by Corinne Dubreuil/ABACAPRESS.COM – Photo by Icon sport

All of the above makes us believe that Naomi Osaka is seriously planning a return to tennis at the 2024 Australian Open. A member of her camp revealed that they believe this is the best tournament for her to make her comeback, as her last title on the Tour was the 2021 Australian Open.

Also, in mid-April, the professional ATP tennis player Christopher Eubanks went to stay with Naomi in California and he had this to say:

“I had the pleasure of practicing with her. I told her, ‘Hey, I’m coming to LA’. Her first question was, ‘Did you bring your rackets?’ I said, ‘Absolutely’. We got together. She’s still striking the ball exceptionally well. I can tell you she’s working extremely hard to be able to maximize what she’s able to do post-pregnancy and she really wants it. She’s coming out motivated and I think it’s going to be great for a lot of fans.”

Subscribe to Punditfeed on Google News for all the latest updates from the world of sports!