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Naomi Osaka has left her legion of fans in a frenzy after an exciting update about her well publicised break from tennis.
Osaka said in September that she planned to take an indefinite break from the sport after her third-round exit at the US Open.
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"I honestly don't know when I'm going to play my next tennis match," Osaka said following her defeat to Canadian teenager Leylah Fernandez, who went on to make the final.
"I think I'm going to take a break from playing for a while."
The former World No.1 has since dropped out of the top five in the women's world rankings, with Osaka currently sitting at World No.13 in lieu of her absence from the sport.
After a two-month hiatus from tennis, however, Osaka has signalled that she's ready to return after posting a series of images on social media that contained a big hint about the Australian Open.
"Kinda rusty but feels good to be back," Osaka tweeted alongside two photos of her on the tennis court.
“I really want to say thank you everyone for all the kind messages, I really appreciate it.”
The 24-year-old also shared the post with her 2.8 million Instagram followers, where she also included one other rather telling photo.
The close-up picture focused on a small bottle of sunscreen next to a tennis ball with the Australian Open logo on it, perhaps hinting at the Japanese star's plans for the first grand slam tournament of the new year.
Tennis world relishing Naomi Osaka return
Not surprisingly, messages poured in across social media as fans celebrated the four-time major winner's big news.
— LaWanda (@lawanda50) November 5, 2021
Feels good to see you back! You got this & we got you! Always!
— Marilynn Larson (@blondurant) November 6, 2021
Welcome back! Looking forward to watching the incredible woman that is you!
— Chris Turek (@zeustheborzoi) November 5, 2021
Take all the time you need to feel comfortable back on the court. We got your back and always ready to cheer you on. 🙏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾
— Konfident_Ike (@KonfidentI) November 6, 2021
Yay! 🎾 💖
— sharryn. (@sharryn) November 6, 2021
Your pics gave me a smile. A big one! Any wait to see u smiling n sweating on courts!!!
— NaomiOsakawaii (@naomiosakawaii) November 6, 2021
Naomi Osaka has revealed struggles in 2021
Osaka has made no secret of her mental health battle in 2021, with a tumultuous year including an early exit at the Cincinnati Masters, as well as her home Olympic Games in Tokyo.
"I feel like for me recently, when I win I don't feel happy," she said previously.
"I feel more like a relief. And then when I lose, I feel very sad. I don't think that's normal.
"This is very hard to articulate.
"Basically, I feel like I'm kind of at this point where I'm trying to figure out what I want to do, and I honestly don't know when I'm going to play my next tennis match."
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