Naomi Osaka appears to have suggested she is pregnant and will therefore miss the rest of the 2023 season.
The four-time grand-slam champion last week pulled out of this month’s Australian Open with no official reason given for her withdrawal but on Wednesday seemed to provide context for her decision by posting a picture of a baby scan on Instagram.
“Can’t wait to get back on the court but here’s a little life update for 2023,” read Osaka’s caption.
The 25-year-old added: “The past few years have been interesting to say the least, but I find that its the most challenging times in life that may be the most fun.
“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 realise that life is so short and I don’t take any moment for granted, everyday is a new blessing and adventure.
“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 one of my matches and tell someone, “that’s my mom,”.
“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 cause I’ll be at Aus 2024.”
Osaka endured a difficult 2022 on court and ended her season in September after pulling out of a second-round match of the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo.
She had won her first-round match at that tournament when Australia’s Daria Saville withdrew after one game with a knee injury.
Osaka 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 her social-media post, the Japanese star suggested she would be able to compete in next year’s Australian Open.
Osaka has tasted success twice at Melbourne Park in 2019 and 2021 but exited in the third round to Amanda Anisimova last year.