Four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka enjoyed a meal with her mother in New York City earlier this week.
Osaka stunned the tennis world in January by announcing that she was pregnant with her first child to longtime boyfriend Cordae.
The 25-year-old made the announcement as she backed out of the 2023 Australian Open but vowed to be back on tour beginning in Australia in 2024.
She values her privacy off the court so we do not expect to see much of her throughout the year.
That is what makes this public appearance with her mother noteworthy.
Tennis superstar Naomi Osaka had a night out with her mom in the Big Apple. https://t.co/w0OgS6KXDF
— TMZ (@TMZ) January 31, 2023
Osaka’s Pregnancy Comes At An Interesting Time In Women’s Tennis
Women’s tennis is at an interesting place in 2023.
Former champions and number-one seeds Ashleigh Barty and Serena Williams exited the game in 2022.
35-year-old three-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber is expecting a baby and will be out for at least part of 2023.
Two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep tested positive for a banned substance at the 2022 U.S. Open.
Halep is out indefinitely as she fights the charges.
Kim Clijsters Is The Only Modern Day Mom Who Won A Grand Slam
For female tennis players, it is very difficult to come back from maternity leave, balance the demands of the intense practice schedule and travel on the tour with motherhood, and win tournaments, especially Grand Slams.
Kim Clijsters is the only modern-day mother who has done it.
Before she won an amazing three Grand Slams after motherhood, the 2009 and 2010 U.S. Opens and the 2011 Australian Open, Evonne Goolagong Cawley was the only other mother to do it when she won the 1980 Wimbledon Championship.
Kim Clijsters coming out of retirement to win back-to-back US Open titles as a mother >>
Read more on her flawless 2010 final 👉 https://t.co/UQBX0rFo6O pic.twitter.com/erqJYSNXkT
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) April 16, 2020
Serena Williams’s last Grand Slam victory was the 2017 Australian Open when unbeknownst to the general public, she was pregnant with her daughter Olympia who is now 5 years old.
Victoria Azarenka’s last Grand Slam victory came at the 2013 Australian Open, years before her son Leo was born in 2016.
Other Players Could Make Their Mark in 2023
With Osaka, Kerber, and Halep absent, other players will make their marks in the game in 2023.
Aryna Sabalenka already captured her first Grand Slam at the 2023 Australian Open.
Others players who have not yet won a Grand Slam title could take advantage of a clearer playing field of past champions.
Those players include Ons Jabeur, Jesse Pegula, Caroline Garcia, and Maria Sakkari.