Four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka will make her return to tennis at Brisbane International, a warmup tournament for the Australian Open that takes place from Dec. 31 to Jan. 7.
Osaka, who spent 25 weeks in 2019 as world no.1, announced the birth of daughter Shai in July. She had withdrawn from last year's Australian Open before revealing her pregnancy.
The holder of two Australian and two US Open titles, Osaka explained in an ESPN interview last month that her busy 2024 schedule is a key part of her comeback plan.
"I think it's because I realized that I don't know how the beginning of the year is going to go for me. I don't know the level of play and I think I have to ease into it. So at the very least, I'm going to set myself up for a very good end of the year," she said.
In a statement released Friday Osaka said she was "really excited about getting back out on court and competing."
"I always love starting my season in Brisbane and can't wait to return. The Brisbane International is such a great tournament and will set me up for a brilliant comeback this summer."
Osaka has long been an advocate for mental health. She withdrew from the 2021 French Open to prioritise her own well-being and at the time explained that she suffers from "long bouts of depression," drawing widespread media attention.
Fellow two-time Australian Open champ Victoria Azarenka is also expected at Brisbane.