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Tennis: Japan's Naomi Osaka plans to return to the Australian Open in 2024

Tennis: Japan's Naomi Osaka plans to return to the Australian Open in 2024

Four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka has been absent from the circuit since September 2022. On the sidelines of the US Open, she announced that she hoped to make a comeback at the Australian Open next year. Moreover, the 25-year-old Japanese was asked about her presence in Melbourne next January. Not only did she respond positively, but also explained that her 16-month break had given her a boost. This icon of world tennis will therefore be one to consider when you place your bets on your original betting account via agent .

She hadn't been back on the circuit for almost a year

Although she didn't have her racket with her, Naomi Osaka made a remarkable appearance at the US Open. She took part in the event’s forum on mental health and sport. Alongside Michael Phelps, the most decorated athlete in Olympic history and also known for openly talking about his battle with depression, she addressed a subject close to her heart, and at the same time her turbulent relationship with tennis and its prospects.

Who doesn't remember her spectacular withdrawal from the French Open two years ago? At the time in psychological distress, Naomi Osaka was unable to cope with the scrutiny of journalists and the press conference exercise, deciding to get away from it all. While some saw this as a whim, it did shine a spotlight on a rather taboo subject in top-level sport: mental health. Two years on, her views on the subject have matured.

In recent years, the champion has been more prominent in highlighting concerns about depression. In fact, she was one of the first champions to talk openly about it. After returning to competition in January 2022, she was then hampered by an Achilles tendon injury. Furthermore, because she has not appeared in competition since September 2022, her position in the WTA rankings has hit an all-time low.

A criticized decision?

She hasn't played competitively since the Tokyo 2022 tournament. There, after her opponent, Beatriz Haddad, withdrew in the first round, she withdrew before the second round. Later on, her pregnancy unfortunately earned her a great deal of criticism from those who thought it would put an end to her successful career.

Last May, the Japanese star criticized those who had questioned her future in tennis following the announcement of her pregnancy. For her, pregnancy is not the main cause of a drop in form, as many male athletes face the same difficulties and are unable to fulfill their potential. It was a really difficult situation, and she had to ask those around her for help.

During her break, Osaka gave birth to a baby girl, Shai, in July. Now, visibly calmer, she took the opportunity to take stock of her future career. Apparently, all this time away from the courts has enabled her to rediscover her love of tennis.

What can we expect from her comeback?

Naomi Osaka has long dominated the women's circuit, twice winning the Australian Open (2019, 2021) and the US Open (2018, 2020). World No.1 in 2019, she has fallen to WTA No.658 as of September 2023. This time around, in 2024, Osaka will attempt a comeback that promises to last. It will undoubtedly be many more tournaments than she's used to playing, though.

Yet, even if she doesn't know what the start of the season will be like following her long absence, the most important thing for her is to come back little by little and do things at her own pace. Her first objective is simply to finish 2024 very well. Will she achieve it? We will have to wait and see. For the time being, you can register for an original betting account right now to take advantage of the best betting offers.