Naomi Osaka gets honest on difficulty of giving birth, Brisbane expectations

Osaka set to play her first tournament as a mom in Brisbane.

by Dzevad Mesic
Naomi Osaka gets honest on difficulty of giving birth, Brisbane expectations
© Getty Images Sport - Bradley Kanaris

Naomi Osaka feels she can "handle a lot" physically after enduring great pain when giving birth in the summer. 

Osaka, 26, welcomed her first child - a baby girl Skai - in July. After giving birth and missing the entire 2023 season, Osaka's comeback is starting at the Brisbane International. 

Ahead of her first tournament since 2022 September, Osaka made it clear that she is returning with a different perspective. Now, Osaka isn't only playing for herself but she wants to do well for Shai and be an inspiration for her daughter.

“Giving birth was one of the most painful things I’ve ever gone through. It’s definitely made me feel like physically I can handle a lot. I want to show Shai that she’s capable of everything, so that’s one of my main purposes and main reasons why I want to be back out here," Osaka said in Brisbane.

Osaka on if she is among the contenders for the Brisbane title

Osaka, a four-time Grand Slam champion, hasn't played in a really long time. When asked if she could make it all the way in Brisbane, Osaka acknowledged it may be too much to expect her to win Brisbane but also underlined that she would give her best to end the week victorious. 

“That’s a tough question because I haven’t played in more than a year. I don’t know. I think I’ve given myself the biggest chance to do well, but at the same time, I haven’t had any match play. I think I’m just embracing the fact that it’s my first tournament in a very long time. I’m just trying to have fun and do well at the same time," Osaka said.

In the past, Osaka had certain success in Brisbane as she was a back-to-back semifinalist at the tournament in 2019 and 2020. It will be interesting to see how well can Osaka do in her first post-pregnancy tournament in Brisbane. 

Naomi Osaka