Amanda Anisimova jokes after practice with Naomi Osaka: 'Ugly faces are back'

Anisimova and Osaka met for a practice session at Melbourne Park.

by Dzevad Mesic
Amanda Anisimova jokes after practice with Naomi Osaka: 'Ugly faces are back'
© Getty Images Sport - Graham Denholm

Amanda Anisimova's preparations for the Australian Open are well underway as the American practiced with Naomi Osaka at Melbourne Park ahead of the opening Grand Slam of the new season. 

Anisimova, 22, played her last tournament of the 2023 season in April. After announcing she was taking a break to address burnout and mental health, Anisimova returned to action in the first week of the new season in Auckland.

On the other side, 26-year-old Osaka also returned to tennis at the start of the 2024 season. After not playing any tournaments last season due to pregnancy, Osaka's comeback kicked off at last week's Brisbane International. 

As Anisimova and Osaka are preparing for the Australian Open, they met on the practice court. 

"Ugly tennis faces are back (laughing emoji). Thx for the hit @naomiosaka," Anisimova captioned her Instagram post.

Amanda Anisimova
Amanda Anisimova© Amanda Anisimova - Instagram

How Anisimova, Osaka did in their first tournaments back?

Anisimova, a former world No. 21, did well in her first tournament back as she managed to beat former world No. 11 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 7-5 6-4 in the Auckland first round. 

Amanda Anisimova
Amanda Anisimova© Getty Images Sport - Dave Rowland

After starting her Auckland campaign with a win, Anisimova revealed she battled shoulder pain on the morning of the match and considered withdrawing. But since Anisimova received a wildcard for the tournament, she didn't want to just quit and she decided to go out and play. After beating Pavlyuchenkova, Anisimova admitted she was pleasantly surprised by how well she was able to do against Pavlyuchenkova considering her situation before the start of the match.

After starting with a win, Anisimova's Auckland comeback ended in the round-of-16 following a 0-6 1-6 loss to Marie Bouzkova.

On the other side, four-time Grand Slam champion Osaka launched her comeback in Brisbane, where she defeated Tamara Korpatsch in her opener. After beating Korpatsch, Osaka came close to beating former world No. 1 Karolina Pliskova but the Czech came back from a set down to beat the Japanese 3-6 7-6 (4) 6-4.

Naomi Osaka
Naomi Osaka© Getty Images Sport - Chris Hyde

Overall, both Anisimova and Osaka enjoyed solid comebacks and now they are looking ahead to the Australian Open.

Amanda Anisimova Naomi Osaka Melbourne Park