Tennis star Naomi Osaka is pregnant, the athlete announced Wednesday, and said she will return to the sport in 2024, after concern had spread for her because she has not played since September.
Osaka, 25, shared an ultrasound photo on social media, and said “one thing I’m looking forward to is for my kid to watch one of my matches and tell someone ‘that’s my mom,’ haha.”
Osaka acknowledged her recent absence from tennis, saying the months she’s spent away from the sport “has really given me a new love and appreciation for the game I’ve dedicated my life to.”
Osaka said she will play at the Australian open in 2024, days after she pulled out of the 2023 tournament.
She did not specify who the father of the baby is, but it’s believed to be her boyfriend, rapper Cordae, who she has dated since 2019.
$51.1 million. That’s how much Osaka made in 2022, according to Forbes, making her the highest-paid female athlete of the year.
Osaka won the championship at the U.S. open in 2018 and 2020 and the Australian Open in 2019 and 2021. That same year, she famously withdrew from the French Open over mental health concerns. But the former star has only won one match since May. Once a former world No. 1, she is ranked at No. 47 in singles. She has recently suffered an Achilles injury and back problems. In September, Osaka pulled out of the Pan Pacific Open in Japan, citing abdominal pain (abdominal pain is a common pregnancy symptom, though it’s not clear how far along Osaka is).
Tennis legend Serena Williams announced her probable retirement from the sport last year, saying, “if I have to choose between building my tennis résumé and building my family, I choose the latter.”
Serena Williams Announces Retirement (Forbes)