Naomi Osaka shares video of fierce training ahead of WTA comeback
By Bryan Ke
December 4, 2023
Japanese tennis superstar Naomi Osaka is gearing up for her highly anticipated comeback, as seen in a practice video she recently shared on social media.
Catch up: Osaka, 26, has not played competitively since September 2022, when she withdrew from her game at the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo after falling ill. The Japanese Olympian and former Women’s Tennis Association No. 1-ranked player then announced her pregnancy in January and welcomed her baby daughter with rapper Cordae in July.
Osaka spoke about her return to tennis during an interview with ESPN in September, admitting that she thinks she has to “ease into” her comeback, as she doesn’t know the “level of the players” and how “the beginning of the year is going to go.”
Back in the game: The former No. 1 women’s tennis player shared a glimpse of her training in a video uploaded to X and Instagram on Friday, where she showcased her powerful swings and agile footwork. “Training, I’ll let the video speak for itself,” Osaka wrote in her Instagram post caption.
Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios sent an encouraging message to Osaka in a tagged Instagram Story post, telling the four-time Grand Slam champion, “The best part of the journey is realizing that we can all learn something from someone,” he added, “The whole Kyrgios team is behind you.”
When to expect: Osaka is set to make a comeback at the Brisbane International, which will kick off on Dec. 31 until Jan. 7, 2024. Osaka also confirmed to ESPN in September that she would be competing at the Australian Open in January 2024.
Reactions: Many tennis fans welcomed Osaka’s upcoming return to tennis, with one Instagram user praising the tennis superstar as the only person who “could catch and pass” Serena Williams’ titles.
Another Instagram user was hyped up after seeing Osaka’s practice video, writing, “Oh, the Mother Strength era is upon us!! They don’t know what’s coming.”
One fan on Instagram noted how no one could ever match Osaka’s “voice to the power behind the racquet,” adding, “Can’t wait to see you back dominating the court.”
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