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Naomi Osaka poised for grand return to competitive tennis after giving birth

Tennis sensation Naomi Osaka is making her much-anticipated return to the sport after the birth of her daughter, Shai, on July 13.

The former World No. 1 announced her comeback at the Brisbane International in January, ahead of the 2024 Australian Open, stating her excitement to get back on the court and compete.

Osaka released a statement saying: "I am really excited about getting back out on court and competing. I always love starting my season in Brisbane and can't wait to return. It will set me up for a brilliant comeback this summer."

The 26-year-old's absence from professional matches dates back to September 2022, following her participation in the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo and an early exit from the U.S. Open.

Osaka withdrew from the 2022 Australian Open unexpectedly but days later announced she was expecting her first child.

Osaka looks to mirror past tennis greats

The Japanese tennis star is ready to re-enter the competitive arena as a new mother, vowing to fill her calendar with more matches in 2024 to compensate for the time off.

Currently ranked 42nd globally, Osaka's determination and enthusiasm to resume her career mirror the approaches of other prominent tennis players who made spectacular returns after childbirth.

The accomplished Serena Williams, a key inspiration for Osaka, notably bounced back after becoming a mother in 2017, winning her first official match against Zarina Diyas at the Indian Wells BNP Paribas Open.

Williams, following her triumph in the French Open in May 2018, emphasized her daughter Olympia's priority and how she structures her life around her child.

Additionally, players like Victoria Azarenka, who reached the U.S. Open Final following her return to tennis after giving birth, and Kim Clijsters, who secured major titles after rejoining the sport post-motherhood, stand as testaments to successful comebacks.

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