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WATCH: Naomi Osaka back on court ahead of the 2022 season

World number 13 Naomi Osaka returned to training for the Australian Open just weeks away from the start of the 2022 season.

Naomi Osaka

Former world number 1, Naomi Osaka was seen practicing with UCLA collegiate tennis player Martin Redlicki. She is the defending champion at the Australian Open, where she had defeated Jennifer Brady in the title class. Osaka has won four grand slam titles, winning the 2018 US Open, 2019 Australian Open and the 2020 US Open, along with her most recent grand slam title.

Despite being seeded second at the start of the 2021 French Open, she withdrew midway from the tournament citing mental health issues, a gutsy decision which has been lauded by many fellow professionals in the game. Though the exact nature of her issues have not been revealed by her, the reactions in the wider tennis community were mixed.

Naomi’s Comeback

Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams

Osaka is the defending champion at the Australian Open, and looks to defend her title at the 2022 edition of the tournament. In her winning campaign last year, she became the eighth person in the Open era to win the title after saving match points in the Australian Open in her fourth round clash against Spanish powerhouse Garbine Muguruza.

The 24 year old looks to return from her hiatus from the sport which she announced after her disappointing performance at this year’s US Open, as she cited that she wasn’t feeling happy competing anymore. Her 2021 as a whole has been disappointing after a bright start, as her performances dipped after her successful Australian Open win, as her 23 match win streak came to an end in the quarter finals of the Miami Open where she lost heavily to Maria Sakkari.

Her clay season also wasn’t much better as she lost early at Madrid and Rome, after which she announced her hiatus from the sport. Osaka would hope the year 2022 would be one of redemption to her.

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