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Naomi Osaka set to return to tennis at Brisbane International less than six months after giving birth

By Matias Grez, CNN

(CNN) — Four-time grand slam champion Naomi Osaka is set to return to tennis at the Brisbane International less than six months after giving birth.

Osaka, a former world No. 1, hasn’t played on the WTA Tour since September 2022 and in July of this year announced the birth of her first child with American rapper Cordae.

“I am really excited about getting back out on court and competing,” the 26-year-old Osaka said.

“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.”

The tournament runs from December 31, 2023, to January 7, 2024, and is used as a warm-up event for the Australian Open, the first grand slam of the season.

Two of Osaka’s four grand slam titles have come Down Under, her most recent victory coming in 2021.

At the French Open later that same year, the Japanese star revealed she had “suffered long bouts of depression” since winning her first grand slam title in 2018 and withdrew from the tournament.

Osaka said in an interview with ESPN last month that she intends to play a busy schedule in 2024.

“It’s definitely way more tournaments than I used to play,” she said. “So, I think some people will be happy with that.

“I think it’s because I realized that I don’t know how the beginning of the year is going to go for me. I don’t know the level of play and I think I have to ease into it.

“So at the very least, I’m going to set myself up for a very good end of the year.”

On the men’s side of the draw, three-time grand slam champion Andy Murray has also confirmed that he’ll be competing in Brisbane, along with world No. 10 Holger Rune.

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