‘I’m Playing for Her’ – Naomi Osaka Discloses the Biggest Inspiration Behind Her Much-Anticipated Return to Tennis

Published 12/08/2023, 5:42 AM EST

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It’s been a while since Naomi Osaka graced the tennis courts with her wide array of shots and mesmerizing techniques. Since announcing her pregnancy at the beginning of the season, the Japanese tennis player has not yet picked up her racket for a match. Now, after embracing motherhood for the first time, the WTA superstar is ready to make her much-anticipated return on the tour. But do you know what might be the inspiration behind Osaka’s big comeback decision?

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The 4-time singles Grand Slam champion, who last participated in the 2022 Toray Pan Pacific Open, is now all set to play at the Brisbane International after her maternity break. While talking about her robust comeback plans, Osaka recently brought to light the real motivation for her much-anticipated return to the court.

Naomi Osaka on the inspiration behind her robust comeback decision

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In a recent candid conversation with NHK, Naomi Osaka opened up about how she feels ‘nervous and also happy and excited’ as she prepares for her comeback after giving birth to daughter Shai. Meanwhile, the Japanese tennis player also talked about her ambition to taste more glory on the tour, particularly at the Grand Slam events and the Paris Olympics.

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And it is Osaka’s newborn daughter who is apparently the driving force behind her comeback aspirations. Osaka said, “I’ve never been a person that’s really good at playing for myself, if that makes sense. So I kind of like the feeling of having the responsibility of having to take care of Shai and wanting to show her around the world.”

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While revealing how she has now released parental duties, the 4-time singles Grand Slam champion asserted that she wants to play for her daughter. Osaka stated, “I kind of feel more like I’m playing for her.” As she prepares for her much-anticipated return to the court, the Japanese player also revealed how she underwent some weight training during her pregnancy phase.

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Naomi Osaka talks about her training regime during her maternity break

In the same interview, the former world No. 1 player also revealed how she gained a lot of weight during her pregnancy phase as she had to eat constantly to tackle her morning sickness. Consequently, Osaka had to do some weight training and a lot of walking on the advice of her doctor.

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“The doctors tell you to walk a lot, so I walked a lot, I did a lot of stairs,” the former Australian Open champion said. While labeling her return to the court as the second chapter of her competitive journey, Naomi Osaka said that she now wants to study and understand the racket game more.

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Written by:

Anurag Gusain

1,399Articles

One take at a time

Like millions of fans around the world, my foray into the world of tennis began after witnessing the incredible domination of the ?King of Clay? over the past decade. It was my passion for tennis that initially drew me to the dynamic field of sports journalism. My professional journey in sports journalism with EssentiallySports has seen me cover over 1000 articles, focusing on almost every ATP and WTA tournament, including Grand Slams.
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Edited by:

Shudh.mukherjee

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