Serena Williams' ex-coach predicts Naomi Osaka tennis future after pregnancy

Coach Rick Macci thinks Osaka could definitely make a major comeback.

by Dzevad Mesic
Serena Williams' ex-coach predicts Naomi Osaka tennis future after pregnancy

Serena Williams' childhood coach Rick Macci thinks Naomi Osaka could definitely make a major tennis comeback after pregnancy and he is tipping the former world No 1 to return to the top-10 in 2024. Osaka, 25, lifted her fourth Grand Slam title at the 2021 Australian Open but hasn't won any titles since.

However, it should be noted that Osaka battled injuries and mental health issues - which led to the Japanese not playing that much in 2021 and 2022. "Naomi Osaka next year will 100% skyrocket back into the top ten. You do not lose the talent the laser groundies or that explosive serve to play right thru the field.

Fitness and overall confidence takes time but with Four Slams in her back pocket she has been there done that," Macci tweeted.

While Osaka is sidelined, there is a new group of stars that is making major things in the game - Iga Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina.

Swiatek, Sabalenka and Rybakina have been consistently delivering in the last couple of months and some believe those three may form women's Big Three version.

Macci: Swiatek leads the way, Osaka cannot be counted out

"Can Sabalenka, Rybakina and Iga form a new big three in women's tennis? Absolutely.

I think those three are the leaders of the clubhouse, no doubt about it. They've kind of all proven themselves so at the end of the day, those would be the three that could have a rivalry. But all that being said, I can see, because women's tennis other than Iga is a little more fluid you know.

I think you can't count out Osaka when she comes back because she's proven herself. And there's other players on any given day that can beat anybody. Even though Iga is a little bit, in my opinion, a cut above. Little bit of this depends on the surface but they definitely can form a rivalry, there's no doubt about it.

But with women's tennis it's kind of fluid, you know Serena retired, Barty exited stage left, Osaka you know, she's had a kid so you know at the end of the day a lot of people that had the pedigree are no longer there so it's wide open.

But absolutely Sabalenka, Rybakina and Iga, they can definitely have a Big-3 rivalry for a long time," Macci told Sportskeeda. Osaka is due to give birth in June or July. After giving birth, Osaka will focus on preparing for a tennis comeback. Osaka is targeting to return to action at the start of the 2024 season in Australia.

Serena Williams Naomi Osaka Rick Macci