Next to Rafa Nadal, who has already landed in Brisbane and is immediately on the pitch to train with Holger Rune Naomi Osaka is one of the most anticipated stars to return to the tour after more than a year away First for her personal problems and then for motherhood. In an interview with the magazine, the Japanese woman spoke specifically about her experiences as a mother, a difficult birth and other problems during pregnancy style.
During her pregnancy, Osaka tested positive for group B streptococcus, a bacterial infection that can cause serious health problems, including stillbirths in newborns. “I got a little scared, it was a dangerous situation. I don’t think everyone knows how hard pregnancy is. There’s not much talk about it. Morning sickness, weight gain, loneliness. When you first start you say, ‘Oh, this is a beautiful journey!’ But then it’s really hard,” says Naomi. “I was in contractions for 12 hours and I remember thinking at that moment: ‘This is the biggest pain of my life and I know that if I get through it, everything else will be much easier,'” explains the Japanese tennis player.
Osaka discovered that her daughter was born with the nuchal cord, which is an umbilical cord wrapped around the neck, a situation that can cause serious problems for the baby. Luckily, everything went well and Osaka and her partner, rapper Cordae, welcomed little Shai, a name that means “gift” in Hebrew. “In the beginning there is a long adjustment period. Your life changes from one day to the next and from the moment you come home from the hospital everything is different.”
After getting back to normal after the first few months of adjusting to life as a mother, Naomi resumed training with one firm thought: “I don’t want to go back to competition if I can’t play at a certain level.” I had distanced me from tennis in the past, but this time it was for the longest time of my life. And I think that gave me a different perspective: “Hey, you’re not going to play tennis forever, you have to make the most of the years you have left.” I want to be a good role model for Shai, I want that she understands that this is an important chapter in my life,” concludes Osaka.
Words that make one think of a Naomi discreetly anxious to pick up the broken thread of her career, and perhaps well prepared for her return to the field after a 15-month absence. The 26-year-old Japanese has not played since September 2022, when she was eliminated in the second round of the WTA in Tokyo. She announced her pregnancy months later and gave birth to her first daughter last July. Osaka was the No. 1 seed in her career and triumphed twice at the US Open (2018, 2020) and twice at the Australian Open (2019, 2021). Will the atmosphere you like in Melbourne give us a great champion straight away? We’ll see how the court reacts, but it’s more likely that the Japanese player needs a few tournaments to find her best tennis again. Her class has certainly been terribly missed on the WTA tour in recent years.