Rafu Wire Service Reports
Japan’s former world No. 1 tennis player Naomi Osaka on Wednesday suggested she is expecting her first baby and will not be in action in 2023.
In a Twitter post with a photo of a sonogram appearing to show a fetus, Osaka announced “a little life update for 2023.”
The 25-year-old Osaka has been dating Cordae, a rapper, for years.
“I know that 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,’” Osaka wrote.
Osaka hasn’t played a competitive match since September at the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, where she pulled out ahead of her second-round match, citing abdominal pain.
She withdrew from the Australian Open, which begins Sunday. She has won that tournament twice, along with two U.S. Open championships.
She has taken mental health breaks in recent years and didn’t play again after the Pan Pacific Open, shortly after falling in the first round of the U.S. Open. Osaka said the few months away have given her “a new love and appreciation for the game I’ve dedicated my life to.”
Ash Barty, the 2022 Australian Open champion, announced last week she was pregnant. She retired last year while holding the No. 1 ranking.
But Osaka said she will return to tennis and plans to be in Melbourne next year for the start of the Grand Slam season.
“2023 will be a year that’ll be full of lessons for me and I hope I’ll see you guys in the start of the next one cause I’ll be at (Australian Open) 2024,” Osaka wrote. “Love you all infinitely.”
Osaka closed by saying she doesn’t know if there’s a perfectly correct path in life, but that “if you move forward with good intentions you’ll find your way eventually.”
In 2021, Osaka revealed she had battled long bouts of depression. At last year’s Grand Slams, she made a third-round exit in Melbourne, missed Wimbledon with an Achilles tendon injury and suffered first-round defeats at the French Open and U.S. Open.
“The past few years have been interesting to say the least, but I find that it’s the most challenging times in life that may be the most fun,” said Osaka, currently ranked 47th in the world.