Coach Rick Macci suggests Naomi Osaka could pull a Jennifer Capriatti and make a major return to tennis following a lengthy absence. Osaka, a four-time Grand Slam champion, recently welcomed her first child and she is missing the entire 2023 season.
But Osaka plans to return pro tennis at the start of the 2024 season and she has already stated several times that she will be aiming for Grand Slam titles when she returns. Osaka, a former world No 1, didn't play much even before her pregnancy but she is again full of motivation.
Macci, who famously coached Serena and Venus Williams during their childhood, thinks Osaka will be a top-10 player again by the end of the 2024 season.
Macci believes Osaka can absolutely make a strong comeback
“I know when you disappear from the pro tour and you go have a baby, everybody writes you off.
But listen, Osaka has four Grand Slams in her back pocket, you know, and she has firepower. She has a great serve, she's solid off the ground, great athlete, good calming skills. I bring this up all the time and it reminds me of one of my favorite students of all time.
Jennifer Capriati. You know, she disappeared off the face of the earth, went off the tour, okay? Even saw it kind of in the movie King Richard. I wish they'd have presented it the way it really happened. 'cause she not only came back on the tour.
Not to number 50 or 30 or 20 or 10. Number one, three grand Slams, Olympic gold, big contract from Fila. She came all the way back. So listen, you don't lose the talent and you don't lose the ability. You lose a little bit of the confidence and the fitness.
So listen, it's not gonna happen this year, but I'm predicting by the end of 2024 I if her, if she's hungry, because I know she believes, Osaka will go right back in the top 10 because she has enough firepower to play through you," Macci told Tennis-Infinity.
• Ex-Wimbledon champion comments on Naomi Osaka's post-pregnancy return to tennis• Tennis icon Legend Serena Williams built a business empire• Naomi Osaka created her anime-obsessed chatbot avatar!• Zheng Qinwen shares details on how coach Wim Fissette ditched her for Naomi Osaka• Serena Williams' childhood coach drops major statement on American's athletic ability• ASB Classic boss reveals if Naomi Osaka is starting her comeback in Auckland