Naomi Osaka, Rafael Nadal to Return to Tennis in Brisbane

Naomi Osaka in 2018
Naomi Osaka at The 2018 US Open. Photo by Juergen Hasenkopf/BPI/REX/Shutterstock (9870975dn)

Two-time Australian Open and US Open champion Naomi Osaka has been spending time on the practice court as she prepares for her return to tennis at the Brisbane International, with the qualifiers commencing on December 29. The Japanese-American tennis player withdrew from last year’s Australian Open after revealing that she was pregnant.

Osaka gave birth to her daughter Shai in Los Angeles in July. “She’s really pumped, excited to be back in Brisbane,” tournament director Cameron Pearson said on Wednesday before revealing: “She arrived Christmas morning and was out practicing a few hours later. No Christmas pudding for her, she was straight into it.”

Along with Osaka, former ATP men’s number one Rafael Nadal is also expected to mark his return to tennis at the Brisbane International this week. The 22-time Grand Slam champion has not played since last January after he suffered a hip flexor injury at the Australian Open.