Naomi Osaka is pregnant with her first child and will return to tennis in 2024

The Grand Slam champion explains her absence from the Australian Open

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Four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka has announced she's pregnant with her first child and plans to return to the tour in 2024.

The tennis star, 25, who has been absent from this year's Australian Open, posted a sonogram of her baby and text to Twitter with the announcement.

"Can't wait to get back on the court but here's a little life update for 2023," she wrote in English and Japanese.

“These few months away from the sport has really given me a new love and appreciation for the game I’ve dedicated my life to.

“I know that I have so much to look forward to in the future; one thing I’m looking forward to is for my kid to watch some of my matches and tell someone, ‘That’s my mom.’”

Osaka withdrew from the Australian Open on Sunday, sparking speculation over her absence since she's won the tournament twice. Some wondered if she was scaling back her career, since she has won only one completed match since May and was beaten in the first round of her three previous tournaments, including the US Open.

In 2021, Osaka took a mental health break after missing that year's French Open and said she's been receiving treatment for depression and anxiety for years.

But she says she's expecting to return for next year's tournament.

"2023 will be a year that's full of lessons for me and I hope to see you guys at the start of the next one because I'll be at Aus 2024. Love you all infinitely," she added.

"I don't think there's a perfectly correct path to take in life but I always felt if you move forward with good intentions you'll find your way eventually."

The father of Osaka's child is North Carolina rapper Cordae, who she's been in a relationship with since 2019.

Updated: January 12, 2023, 5:22 AM