Four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka is poised to make her highly anticipated return to the tennis scene at the upcoming Brisbane International in Australia, according to organizers who announced the news on Friday.
Commencing on the final day of December, the Brisbane tournament serves as a prelude to the Australian Open Grand Slam, scheduled to kick off in mid-January.
The 26-year-old former world number one, Osaka, took a hiatus from the tour since September 2022, grappling with both the challenges of motherhood after giving birth to her daughter Shai in July and navigating the complexities of her mental health in the competitive world of tennis.
Expressing her enthusiasm, Osaka, a native of Japan, stated, “I always love starting my season in Brisbane and can’t wait to return. The Brisbane International is such a great tournament and will set me up for a brilliant comeback this summer.”
With four major titles under her belt, including victories at the 2019 and 2021 Australian Opens, as well as the US Open in 2018 and 2020, Osaka is no stranger to the winner’s circle. Earlier this year, she revealed that her hiatus from the sport had “really fuelled a fire in me.”
Joining Osaka in Brisbane will be other Grand Slam champions such as Andy Murray and Victoria Azarenka, along with players of note like Grigor Dimitrov and Holger Rune.