Four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka has set the date for her long-anticipated return to tennis.
In a statement shared earlier this week, Osaka said that she plans to play at Brisbane International, which will mark her first professional tennis match since September 2022.
Brisbane International takes place from December 31st to January 7th. This could possibly set up Osaka’s appearance at next year’s Australian Open. The 26-year-old player won the first Grand Slam tournament of the year twice before.
“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,” Osaka said. “It will set me up for a brilliant comeback this summer.”
Naomi Osaka played her most recent match at the 2022 Pan Pacific Open, where she was forced to retire due to an injury. Osaka initially planned to make a comeback at the 2023 Australian Open but withdrew herself just days before the tournament was scheduled to start. It was later revealed that Osaka was expecting her first child with rapper Cordae. The couple welcomed a baby girl in July.
Osaka won her first Grand Slam title in 2018, beating legendary Serena Williams in the US Open Finals. She won the same tournament again two years later while also adding Australian Open titles in 2019 and 2021. She has yet to make it past the third round at the French Open and Wimbledon.