Naomi Osaka posts footage of herself practicing in Australia as the four-time Grand Slam champion prepares to make her return to tennis after giving birth in July
- Naomi Osaka has been practicing in Brisbane ahead of her expected return to tennis
- The former world number 1 spent a year away from the sport to give birth to her first child
- DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news
Naomi Osaka was all smiles as she practiced in Brisbane on Wednesday, ahead of the four-time Grand Slam champion's much-anticipated return to tennis.
The former world number 1 will make her comeback in Brisbane in the coming days after taking a year out of the sport to give birth to her first child.
Less than six months since she welcomed daughter Shai into the world with her rapper boyfriend Cordae, Osaka returns to the warm-up event for the Australian Open before taking to court for the big one later in January.
And she showed no sign of rust in the footage posted to her Instagram, hitting a series of fierce forehands from the baseline.
In photos from the same training session, Osaka was seen looking cheerful next to her Belgian coach Wim Fissette at the Pat Rafter Arena in Brisbane.
Naomi Osaka practiced in Brisbane on Wednesday ahead of her long-awaited return
It comes less than six months after the four-time Grand Slam champion gave birth
Osaka will return at the warm-up event for the Australian Open before returning to a Grand Slam
Osaka has not played a tournament on the WTA Tour since the 2022 Toray Pan Pacific in Tokyo
Osaka, who has not played a tournament on the WTA Tour since the 2022 Toray Pan Pacific in Tokyo, will discover her opponent in the first round at the draw on Sunday.
Earlier this month, she revealed her experience of childbirth and the unparalleled pain it brought her.
“I remember feeling at that moment: this is the worst pain of my life,” she said in an interview with In style.
“And I know that if I get through this, everything else will feel really easy.”
She added: 'I don't think people know how difficult pregnancy is; no one really talks about it that much.
“You go into it and you're like, 'Oh, this is this beautiful journey.' But it's kind of rough.”
The former world number 1 has been with Cordae since 2019, but after Shai's birth the pair sparked fears that they had been split just months into their journey as parents.
Osaka has not played tennis for a year after giving birth to her first child, Shai, in July
The four-time Grand Slam champion says giving birth was the worst pain she has ever experienced
Osaka has been in a relationship with rapper Cordae since 2019. The couple pictured in 2020
However, Osaka shut down that speculation after revealing about their relationship, “We have laid a very good foundation. I don't know if it's because he's just an easy-going guy, but I think we just respect each other's opinions. And if we disagree on something, we talk it out.
“At the end of the day, we both want the best for Shai.”
In addition to success on the tennis court, Osaka has also spoken candidly about her struggles with mental health in recent years.
The Japanese star withdrew from the 2021 French Open and revealed she previously struggled with depression after her refusal to give post-match interviews was criticized.
Ahead of her long-awaited comeback, Osaka continues to pride herself on being an advocate for mental health, urging people to speak openly about their problems.
'I just want people to talk about it [mental health] and you don't have to be ashamed,” she said. 'Normalize it.'