Naomi Osaka makes triumphant return as Petra Kvitova news delights tennis world

Kvitova has dropped some massive personal news just two weeks out from the Australian Open.

Petra Kvitova and Naomi Osaka.
Petra Kvitova is set to join the likes of Naomi Osaka in becoming tennis-playing mothers. Image: Instagram/Getty

Petra Kvitova is set to join the likes of Naomi Osaka, Elina Svitolina, Victoria Azarenka and Angelique Kerber as mothers on the WTA tour. On the same day that Osaka made her return to tennis at the Brisbane International, two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova announced that she's pregnant.

The Czech veteran is expecting her first child with Jiri Vanek, her long-time coach who she married in July last year. "On the first day of 2024 I wanted to wish you a happy new year and share the exciting news that Jiri and I will be welcoming a baby into our family this summer!" she wrote on social media.

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The 33-year-old is currently on the Australian Open entry list. She didn't reveal what the pregnancy means for her participation at the Melbourne Park grand slam, although Serena Williams famously won the Australian Open in 2017 while pregnant.

Petra Kvitova and Jiri Vanek, pictured here in 2023.
Petra Kvitova and Jiri Vanek in 2023. (Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images)

The winner of 31 WTA singles titles, Kvitova won Wimbledon in 2011 and 2014. Her best result at the Australian Open came in 2019 when she made the final but lost to Osaka.

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley wrote on social media on Monday: "Fantastic news. Congratulations Petra and Jiri."

Naomi Osaka wins in first match since September 2022

Later on Monday, four-time grand slam champion Osaka made a triumphant return to tennis following the birth of her child. The 26-year-old overcame a hiccup in the second set to beat Tamara Korpatsch 6-3 7-6 (11-9) at the Brisbane International.

The two-time Australian Open champ hadn't played a tournament on the WTA Tour since the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo in September of 2022. She missed the 2023 Australian Open and gave birth to baby daughter Shai in July.

Naomi Osaka, pictured here in action against Tamara Korpatsch at the Brisbane International.
Naomi Osaka in action against Tamara Korpatsch at the Brisbane International. (AAP Image/Jono Searle)

"It feels really good," she said on court, admitting being a mother had given her new perspective. "I feel like the last couple of years that I played before I had my daughter, I didn't return as much love as I was given.

"I really feel like that's what I want to do in this chapter. I just really appreciate people coming out and people knowing me and cheering for me because I feel like there was a time that I was just a little kid trying to watch my role models play. It feels really surreal sometimes to be playing on these courts."

Speaking before the Brisbane International, Osaka said becoming a mother had made her realise her physical capabilities. "Being a mum changed my life a lot, changed my perspective on a lot of things, and for sure giving birth was one of the most painful things I've ever gone through," she told reporters. "So it's made me feel like physically I can handle a lot more."

She said being a role model for Shai had spurred her comeback. "I just want to show Shai that she's capable of everything, so that's one of my main purposes and main reasons for why I want to be back out there," Osaka said. "I've given myself the biggest chance to do well but haven't had any match play."

with AAP

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