WATCH: Naomi Osaka Returns To Practice With NBA Star Rui Hachimura

WATCH: Naomi Osaka Returns To Practice With NBA Star Rui Hachimura

by Alex Waite

Last updated

Naomi Osaka recently returned to light practice following the birth of her first child, and she rallied with an unexpected guest in a recent session.

Osaka has not played a competitive tennis event since late September 2022, when she exited at the round of 16 in the Toray Pan Pacific Open Tennis competition in Tokyo. Following her omission from professional tennis, Osaka gave birth to her first child, named Shai, in July 2023, but has since expressed her desire to compete in the WTA again.

The four-time Grand Slam winner has already resumed light training following her pregnancy and she posted on Twitter a light-hearted rally against the LA Lakers Power Forward, Rui Hachimura. On the evidence provided, it was clear that Osaka still had the winning touch, while Hachimura's basketball talent didn't quite translate onto the tennis court.

"Lil bro really thought he had it 😖😂"

Osaka jokes after rally with Hachimura

Osaka and Hachimura share similar backgrounds and paths as the pair were both born in Japan in the 1990s before moving to the US to pursue their potential as elite athletes. While Osaka was winning Australian Opens and US Opens, Hachimura was clocking up appearances in the NBA for the Washington Wizards before moving to LA.

It remains to be seen when Osaka will officially return to professional tennis, but her latest post having a light-hearted practice session with Hachimura shows she is in good spirits ahead of her comeback. The 25-year-old has previously addressed her own mental health struggles, such as depression, and she withdrew from the 2021 Roland Garros to protect her psychological health.

But, the Japanese player appears to be coping well with the mental and physical side of light training. Continued improvement and development might lead Osaka to target a return at the 2024 Australian Open as the 2023 US Open might come too soon.


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