Osaka's Brisbane comeback ends in Pliskova defeat, yet promises encouragement for Australian Open

Posted : 03 January 2024

Naomi Osaka faced a challenging defeat in her comeback at the Brisbane International, losing to three-time champion Karolina Pliskova in a tight three-set match. The Japanese player, making her return after a 15-month hiatus following the birth of her daughter in July, expressed mixed emotions about the week, acknowledging the shorter-than-desired duration but highlighting the enjoyment of the match.

 

Osaka, a four-time Grand Slam champion, reflected on her changed perspective as a mother, noting that while defeat still brings sadness, it stings less as she gives her best, driven by the purpose of making the time away from her daughter worthwhile.

 

Despite a strong start by Osaka, taking the first set 6-3, Pliskova demonstrated resilience, saving 10 of the 12 break points created by the Japanese player. The match reached a decisive tie-break in the second set, which Pliskova navigated flawlessly, securing a 7-4 win.

 

Naomi Osaka suffers second-round exit to Karolina Pliskova in Brisbane |  Offaly Independent

 

The third set remained closely contested, with Pliskova saving all three break points from Osaka and clinching the crucial break in the third game. Osaka's comeback, marked by high-quality performances, showcased her agility, powerful strikes, and consistency on the court.

 

Osaka, currently unranked, acknowledged the sadness of defeat but emphasized the motivation it provides to improve, knowing that her efforts are fueled by her dedication to the sport. With two encouraging matches in Queensland, Osaka now looks ahead to the upcoming Australian Open, where she will participate in charity matches on the Rod Laver Arena, setting the stage for the first Grand Slam of the year.

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