Osaka hints at return with photos of her back on court

Four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka hints she is back in training after her early exit at the US Open; the Japanese star took to social media to say: “Kinda rusty but feels good to be back”

Last Updated: 05/11/21 8:46pm

Naomi Osaka has hinted she had resumed training following her hiatus from tennis

Naomi Osaka has hinted she had resumed training after posting photos of herself standing on a tennis court and holding a racket.

The former world No 1 has been taking a break from the sport to focus on her mental health following her shock third-round exit to 18-year-old Leylah Fernandez at the US Open in September.

kinda rusty but feels good to be back ?? I really want to say thank you everyone for all the kind messages, I really appreciate it ? pic.twitter.com/AF0dDukRPE

— NaomiOsaka????? (@naomiosaka)

November 5, 2021

Osaka has struggled for form since she withdrew from the French Open in May after a row with tournament officials over her decision to boycott mandatory press conferences, which she said had a negative impact on her mental well-being.

The four-time Grand Slam champion, who also missed Wimbledon, said she did not know when she would play her next match after her Flushing Meadows exit.

But the 24-year-old from Japan recently said she has “that itch” to return to the game following her hiatus.

Got Elmo out here taking selfie’s lol pic.twitter.com/rs4cOsnpn3

— NaomiOsaka????? (@naomiosaka)

September 29, 2021

She posted on Twitter along with a photo of her smiling and leaning against the net in workout gear, appearing to suggest she could be ready to mark her return to the game.

“Kinda rusty but feels good to be back,” she said. “I really want to say thank you everyone for all the kind messages, I really appreciate it.”

It remains to be seen whether she will compete at January’s Australian Open, where she is a two-time champion.

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