Brisbane International witnesses triumphant comeback from new mom Naomi Osaka

Naomi Osaka has demonstrated glimpses of her formidable skills after undergoing a successful return to the WTA Tour in Brisbane.

The former world No 1 from Japan and four-time major champion secured a victory in the first round of the Brisbane International by defeating Tamara Korpatsch from Germany with a score of 6-3, 7-6 (11-9). This win marks her first WTA victory in 15 months and her first match since giving birth to her daughter in July.

During the match that lasted nearly two hours, the 26-year-old delivered 36 winners, primarily through her forehand shots, but also accumulated 29 unforced errors. Despite being broken while serving for the match at 5-3, Korpatsch managed to save two match points and even earned two set points in a tense tie-break during the second set that lasted 70 minutes.

Eventually, Osaka managed to overcome the challenge with her powerful forehand, which led to her signing autographs and taking selfies with fans after the match. She expressed her gratitude towards the support she received, stating, “The last couple of years I played, before I had my daughter, I didn’t return as much love as I was given. That’s what I want to do in this chapter. I appreciate people coming out and knowing and cheering for me … it feels really surreal sometimes.”

In the second round, Osaka will face Karolina Pliskova, a former world No 1 and two-time winner in Brisbane.

Australia’s Arina Rodionova has already advanced to the second round, while Daria Saville, who has recently recovered from an injury, will attempt to join them as she plays against Dayana Yastremska from Ukraine later on Monday at Pat Rafter Arena. Due to rain, play was interrupted on the outside courts, affecting scheduled matches including the all-Australian clash between Kimberly Birrell and Olivia Gadecki.

Other notable players in the 64-player women’s draw of this key tune-up event for the Australian Open include reigning champion Aryna Sabalenka, Elena Rybakina, Jelena Ostapenko, Victoria Azarenka, Sofia Kenin, and Sloane Stephens.

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