New mother Osaka makes winning return in Brisbane


New mother Osaka makes winning return in Brisbane – Beating Germany’s Tamara Korpatsch 6-3 7-6(9)

Four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka felt the nerves but looked solid on her return to elite tennis after 15 months out as she got past Germany’s Tamara Korpatsch 6-3 7-6(9) in the first round of the Brisbane International on Monday (January 1).

The 26-year-old from Japan last competed on tour at the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo in September 2022 and had her first child, daughter Shai, in July before stepping up her preparations for the Jan. 14-28 Australian Open.

Osaka displayed no signs of rust to break Korpatsch to love in her first game back and the former world number one turned up the heat again towards the end of the opening set to close it out in 38 minutes with a sizzling forehand winner.

Twice Melbourne Park champion Osaka dropped serve for a second time late in the next set to squander her advantage but continued her clean ball-striking in the fiercely contested tiebreak to secure the victory.

Osaka previously had long spells out of the game since her second triumph at Melbourne Park, taking a break to prioritise her mental health after withdrawing from the 2021 French Open and another after the U.S. Open the same year.