Naomi Osaka To Return To Tennis At Brisbane International


Former tennis world number one Naomi Osaka has announced she will make her comeback at the Brisbane International, six months after giving birth to her first child.

Osaka has not played a tournament on the WTA Tour since the Pan Pacific Open in September 2022. The 26-year-old stepped away from the sport in January this year and gave birth to her daughter, Shai, in July.

Previously in an interview with ESPN, Osaka said she was planning a return to competition at the 2024 Australian Open and would maintain a busy schedule in the new season.

The Brisbane International is a WTA 500 event that begins on December 31 and acts as a tune-up event for the Australian Open, the opening Grand Slam of the season.

Osaka won the most recent of her four major titles at the Australian Open in 2021, her second title at Melbourne Park.

“I am really excited about getting back out on court and competing,” Osaka said in a statement. “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.”

Osaka is the latest of a number of tennis players who are mothers, including fellow former Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber, to announce a return to tennis.

Who Else Will Play In Brisbane?

Two-time Australian Open champion Azarenka will join Japanese player Osaka in the women’s event, which has increased in size to 48 main-draw players.

World No.22 Azarenka boasts an impressive 15-2 win-loss record at the Brisbane International, winning the title in 2009 and 2016.

In the men’s draw, three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray will feature in the ATP 250 field along with Brisbane International 2017 champion Grigor Dimitrov and rising star Holger Rune. Rune will be playing in Brisbane for the first time.

Brisbane International Tournament Director Cam Pearson said: “We are really excited to welcome Naomi Osaka, Andy Murray, Victoria Azarenka, Holger Rune and Grigor Dimitrov to Brisbane in 2024 and know the atmosphere of watching these top players will be thrilling this summer.

“Victoria, Andy and Grigor are all past Brisbane International champions, so to have them confirmed this early shows their commitment to the tournament and how much players love coming back to Queensland.

“We are also thrilled to have one of the world’s best young players, Holger Rune, confirmed for the Brisbane International. The 20-year-old has had an incredible year, reaching world No.4 in August and next week has his eyes set on winning the 2023 ATP Finals, under new coach Boris Becker.”


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