Naomi Osaka targets Grand Slam return at Australian Open | Inquirer Sports

Naomi Osaka targets Grand Slam return at Australian Open

/ 11:51 AM September 07, 2023

Japan's Naomi Osaka Grand Slam

FILE PHOTO: Japan’s Naomi Osaka. –REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File photo

NEW YORK–Naomi Osaka said she plans to compete at January’s Australian Open and will maintain a busy schedule next year when she returns to competition after giving birth to her first child.

The four-time major champion withdrew from this year’s Australian Open due to her pregnancy and welcomed daughter Shai in July.


“It’s definitely way more tournaments than I used to play,” Osaka told ESPN when asked if she had set a schedule for 2024.


“I think some people will be happy with that.”

She also confirmed she would compete at the Australian Open.

The former world number one, who represents Japan, said she agreed to the larger workload next year because she is unsure how she will fair when she returns and wants to ensure she gets enough playing time as she eases herself back onto the tour.

“At least I’m going to set myself up for a very good end of the year,” she said.

She said she has “definitely” missed competing during the break and that she is eager to return.

“I’ve been watching matches and I’m like, I wish I was playing too,” she said.


“But I’m in this position now and I’m very grateful. I really love my daughter a lot, but it has really fueled a fire in me.”

Osaka, 25, is a two-time U.S. Open champion and twice winner of the Australian Open who held the world’s top ranking for 25 weeks in 2019.

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She took a break from tennis to prioritize her mental health after skipping the 2021 French Open and spoke on a panel on the topic at the U.S. Open earlier on Wednesday.

TAGS: Australian Open, Naomi Osaka

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