Naomi Osaka makes deeply honest confession ahead of post-pregnancy comeback

Osaka set to play again but this time she will be playing as a mom.

by Dzevad Mesic
Naomi Osaka makes deeply honest confession ahead of post-pregnancy comeback
© Getty Images Sport - Kelly Defina

Naomi Osaka admits has never been "really good at playing for myself" as she reveals her daughter Shai will be a big motivation for her to do big things in her comeback. Osaka, a former world No 1, achieved great success early as she captured her fourth Grand Slam title at the 2021 Australian Open.

Osaka, who turned 26 in October, is set to play again after giving birth and skipping the entire 2023 season. Osaka struggled with motivation and her results after her fourth Grand Slam win but now she is playing for her daughter and targets to do major things.

"I've never been a person that's really good at playing for myself, if that makes sense. So I kind of like the feeling of having the responsibility of having to take care of Shai and wanting to show her around the world. I kind of feel more like I'm playing for her.

I’m definitely going to play better and be a better player after this. It just made me want to try harder and be the best that I can be," Osaka said.

Where Osaka's post-pregnancy comeback starts?

A month ago, the Brisbane International announced that Osaka decided to start her comeback at their tournament, which is scheduled to take place between December 31 - January 07.

"She knows she's going to optimise her preparation for Melbourne. It was an easy conversation but I'm thrilled she's coming back. To restart her career after becoming a mum, we couldn't be more thrilled she's chosen Brisbane," Brisbane tournament director Cam Pearson announced on November 10th.

Following Brisbane's announcement, Osaka wrote on X: "First tournament next year, so excited, I haven’t been to Brisbane in a while." Osaka is set to make her third main draw appearance in Brisbane. In her previous two Brisbane appearances, Osaka was a semifinalist in 2019 and 2020.

Naomi Osaka