Naomi Osaka is out of the 2023 Australian Open because she’s expecting her first child, the Japanese tennis star announced Wednesday. The 25-year-old did say she is planning on returning in 2024.
“Can’t wait to get back on the court but here’s a little life update for 2023,” Osaka shared on Twitter, along with a photo of an ultrasound scan and a message for her fans.
Osaka has been playing on and off through the last few years as she took care of her mental health in 2021 and then dealt with injuries while trying to fully get back on top of her game. The Australian Open was going to be her first event since September at the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, but this time her absence is for a very exciting and positive reason. Dayana Yastremska of Ukraine will be competing in her place.
The four-time Grand Slam singles champion said the past few years have been “interesting to say the least,” but that she is finding that the most challenging times can also be the most fun.
She also added that taking breaks has helped her find more appreciation for tennis, and now she has new motivation to continue succeeding in the sport and other areas of her life. In December, Osaka celebrated the release of her children’s book, The Way Champs Play. Her sports management agency Evolve is also growing, as earlier this month she signed World No. 2 Ons Jabeur.
“I know I have so much to look forward to in the future, one thing I’m looking forward to is for my kid to watch one of my matches and tell someone, ‘that’s my mom,’ haha,” Osaka wrote. “2023 will be a year that’ll be full of lessons for me and I hope I’ll see you guys the start of the next one cause I’ll be back at Aus 2024. Love you all indefinitely.”