Stop worrying about Naomi Osaka, who pulled out of the Australian Open, and start congratulating her: She’s pregnant. The two-time Australian Open champion announced the news with a picture of a sonogram, a note and a caption that is as heartwarming as it is surprising.
“Can’t wait to get back on the court but here’s a little life update for 2023,” Osaka wrote in her caption.
Can’t wait to get back on the court but here’s a little life update for 2023. pic.twitter.com/GYXRnutU3I
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) January 11, 2023
New Levels To The Journey
The note alongside the image was in-depth.
“The past few years have been interesting to say the least, but I find that it’s the most challenging times in life that may be the most fun. These few months away from the sport [have] really given me a new love and appreciation for the game I’ve dedicated my life to. I realize that life is so short and I don’t take any moments for granted, everyday is a new blessing and adventure.
“I know that I have so much to look forward to in the future,” she continued. “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. 2023 will be a year that’ll be full of lessons for me and I hope I’ll see you guys in the start of the next one course I’ll be at Aus 2024. Love you all indefinitely.”
“Sidenote: I don’t think there’s a perfectly correct path to take in life but I always felt that if you move forward with good intentions you’ll find your way eventually.”
The baby news answered the lingering question hanging over Osaka since she announced her withdrawal on Sunday, Jan. 8 from the Australian Open, which begins on Jan. 16. One of the world’s best tennis players and a global superstar, Osaka is the 2019 and 2021 Australian Open champion. Since pulling out of her match against Beatriz Haddad Maia in the Pan Pacific Open second round in Tokyo in September, Osaka has yet to play on the WTA Tour.
“Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from the Australian Open. We will miss her at #AO2023,” the Australian Open tweeted. “Dayana Yastremska moves into the main draw.”
The tweet sent many into a tailspin, those in particular who may have thought the mental health issues like depression that Osaka revealed in 2018 and during her rise were stopping her from performing at Melbourne Park this year.
.@naomiosaka is such an inspiration. ❤️
— Good Morning America (@GMA) December 6, 2022
The Conscious Couple
However, it is instead a celebratory moment for Osaka, who is expecting her first child with rapper Cordae.
The two have been linked romantically since 2019, and aside from being born in 1997, the two are one of the most socially conscious and vocal young couples in the culture. Cordae plays the balance of mainstream vibes with meaningful lyrics, and Osaka has used her platform to discuss social issues even during her matches.
“One thing I'm looking forward to is for my kid to watch one of my matches and tell someone, “that's my mom.”” @NaomiOsaka announces she’s pregnant with her first child. Read Naomi and Cordae’s #GQModernLovers cover story here: https://t.co/CrgyecPpFN pic.twitter.com/83am6RHO8M
— GQ Sports (@GQSports) January 11, 2023
In 2020, during the U.S. Open, she wore seven different masks, including those representing Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Elijah McClain, Trayvon Martin, George Floyd, Philando Castile and Tamir Rice, to raise awareness of police brutality.
Now Osaka faces her biggest challenge yet: becoming a mom and returning to court. Young and successful with a famous artistic partner, the family cheering squad gained a member and next-level attention to the new addition to her legacy.