Naomi Osaka has provided context for her absence from this year’s Australian Open, posting a photo and text on Twitter announcing that she is pregnant with her first child.
The 25-year-old tennis star and four-time Grand Slam champion job a photo of a baby ultrasound dated last month with the caption: ‘I can’t wait to get back on the pitch, but here’s a little life update for 2023.’
She also included screenshots of a statement in English and Japanese in which she wrote: “These few months away from sports have really given me a new love and appreciation for the game to which I have devoted my life.
“I know I have so much to look forward to in the future; One thing I look forward to is my kid watching some of my games and saying to someone, “That’s my mom.”
Osaka has officially withdrawn from the Australian Open, which she has won twice, on Sunday, sparking questions and speculation about her absence. She added that she plans to return to Melbourne Park to compete in next year’s tournament.
The former world number 1, who has also won the US Open twice, last played a competitive match at the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo in September, where she won her opening match against Daria Saville before retiring before his second round. tied with Beatriz Haddad Maia due to abdominal pain.
Osaka has been in a relationship with North Carolina rapper Cordae since 2019, the same year she reached No. 1 in the WTA rankings for the first time, with the pair silence the rumors they had separated as recently as August. A publicist for the Grammy-nominated musician has confirmed to The Guardian that he is the father of Osaka’s child.
Osaka, who lifted the trophy in Melbourne in 2019 and 2021, is the latest in a line of recent Australian Open champions to take maternity leave.
Last year’s winner Ashleigh Barty retired in March as she topped the charts before announcing she was pregnant last week. Caroline Wozniacki, the 2018 champion, welcomed her second child with husband David Lee in October, while Serena Williams won the 2017 tournament while pregnant with her daughter, Alexis Olympia.
Osaka has made several high-profile revelations about her mental health issues since withdrawing from the 2021 French Open and revealed that she has “suffered from long periods of depression” since winning her title-clinching title at the US Open 2018.
“I don’t think there’s a perfectly correct path to follow in life, but I’ve always believed that if you move forward with good intentions, you’ll find your way eventually,” she added Wednesday. .