I was lonely during my pregnancy – Naomi Osaka

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Naomi Osaka has claimed she “felt lonely” during her pregnancy, while confirming she will play at next year’s Australian Open.

Naomi Osaka

TOKYO, JAPAN – SEPTEMBER 20: Naomi Osaka of Japan talks to the media after opponent Daria Saville of Australia had to retire from their first round match on Day 2 of the Toray Pan Pacific Open at Ariake Coliseum on September 20, 2022 in Tokyo, Japan (Photo by Robert Prange/Getty Images)

The four-time Grand Slam champion delivered her first child, daughter Shai, in July.

But the 25-year-old has already resumed training with an eye on next year.

Osaka was at the US Open to speak on a panel along with former Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps.

“For me coming back here, it means a lot. This room, in particular. There were some tears shed. A lot,” Osaka, who won two of her Grand Slam titles at Flushing Meadows, said in the tournament’s main interview room.

“I feel a lot of joy coming back here. It’s kind of like seeing an old friend I haven’t seen in a long time.”

Osaka revealed her issues with depression and anxiety when she withdrew from the French Open in 2021.

She later took extended breaks from the game to protect her mental health, and discussing her latest time away, she said: “I really raised my love for the sport and it made me realise I’m not going to play forever. I have to embrace the times. I’ve been playing tennis since I was three.

“I don’t think I can predict what I’ll do – I never am able to do that – but it definitely made me appreciate a lot of things that I took for granted.”

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