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Updated January 1st, 2024 at 09:07 IST

Naomi Osaka wins her opening match on return to elite tennis at the Brisbane International

Naomi Osaka's first elite-level victory since becoming a mother did not come lightly. It did, however, arrive on the first day of the year. So that was two items ticked off Osaka's list for her return to professional tennis on Monday.

Reported by: Associated Press Television News
Naomi Osaka
Naomi Osaka of Japan serves in her match against Tamara Korpatsch of Germany during the Brisbane International tennis tournament in Brisbane, Australia | Image: AP
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Naomi Osaka’s first win at the elite level since becoming a mother didn’t come easily. It did come on Day 1 of the year, though. So that was two items Osaka checked off the list Monday for her comeback to professional tennis.

The former No. 1-ranked Osaka was broken while serving for the match at 5-3 in the second set and needed three match points before converting in the tiebreaker for a 6-3, 7-6 (9) victory over Tamara Korpatsch in the first round of the Brisbane International.

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“I was super nervous,” Osaka, 26, said of her comeback match against the 28-year-old German player.

A two-time Australian and U.S. Open champion, Osaka pulled out of last year’s Australian Open in Melbourne before later revealing she was pregnant. The U.S.-based Japanese player and her rapper Cordae became parents to daughter Shai in Los Angeles in July.

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Osaka had only played one game since the 2021 U.S. Open in New York. She was leading Daria Gavrilova 1-0 at the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo in September 2021, before the Australian retired with a knee injury.

Reigning Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka , Elena Rybakina, Jelena Ostapenko, Victoria Azarenka, Sofia Kenin and Sloane Stephens are also in the 64-player women's draw at the Brisbane International, one of the key tune-up events for the Australian Open in Melbourne.

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Published January 1st, 2024 at 09:07 IST

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