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Tennis: Naomi Osaka set to welcome first baby

Naomi Osaka has announced she is pregnant with her first child and is planning to return to action at next year’s Australian Open.

Two-time US Open champion Naomi Osaka will become a mother later this year: The 25-year-old former world No. 1 announced her pregnancy in a social media post on Wednesday.

“Can’t wait to get back on the court, but here’s a little life update for 2023,” Osaka wrote in a Twitter post accompany a photo of an ultrasound. 

http://https://twitter.com/naomiosaka/status/1613223970891010049?t=micGal6zv_CtXiRqC0HrpA&s=19

The news came in the eve of this year’s Australian Open which is scheduled to hold from January 16. Naomi Osaka had earlier withdrew from the competition just two days ago

Osaka joins several high-profile current and former WTA world No. 1s who’ve announced pregnancies in recent months. Angelique Kerber announced hers just prior to the start of last summer’s US Open, and recently-retired three-time Grand Slam champion Ashleigh Barty, who said farewell to tennis last March, revealed last week that she and husband Garry Kissick will also welcome their first child later this year.

Osaka has been in a relationship with American rapper Cordae Amari Dunston, better known by his mononym Cordae, since 2019 after the pair met at a Los Angeles Lakers game.

Osaka has been in a relationship with American rapper Cordae Amari Dunston, better known by his mononym Cordae, since 2019 after the pair met at a Los Angeles Lakers game.

Osaka’s quiet beginning to 2023 had been the source of much discussion and speculation in both tennis and general sports media in the first two weeks of the year. The Australian Open, which begins Monday at Melbourne Park, officially announced Osaka’s withdrawal over the weekend, but no reason was given at the time. 

She says she hopes to come back stronger than ever after giving birth, joining other Grand Slam champions including Victoria Azarenka, Kim Clijsters and Serena Williams who’ve traveled the tour with their children. 

“These few months away from the sport has really given me a new love and appreciation for the game I’ve dedicated my life to,” she added. 

“I know that I have so much to look forward to in the future; one thing I’m looking forward to is for my kid to watch some of my matches and tell someone, ‘That’s my mom.’

“2023 will be a year that’ll be full of lessons for me, and I hope I’ll see you guys at the start of of the next one ’cause I’ll be at Aus 2024.”

The four-time major winner played only 23 matches in 2022, going 14-9, and her season highlight was a runner-up finish at the Miami Open last spring. She’s currently ranked No. 47. 

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