Tennis star Naomi Osaka has disclosed the challenges of giving birth to her first child, labeling the experience as the most painful moment of her life. After a year away from the sport to welcome her first child with rapper boyfriend Cordae, Osaka is set to make her comeback in Brisbane at the end of the month.
The four-time Grand Slam champion plans to participate in the Australian Open later in January following the warm-up event. In an interview with InStyle, she reflected on the moment, expressing the extreme difficulty she faced during childbirth in the wake of preparation to return to tennis.
“I do remember feeling in that moment, this is the worst pain of my life.”
“And I know that if I get through this, then everything else will feel very easy.”
She added: “I don’t think people know how hard pregnancy is; no one really talks about it as much.
“Going into it, you kind of think: ‘Oh, it’s this beautiful journey.’ But it’s kind of rough.”
Osaka noted that she was initially concerned about whether should be a good parent to her child. She admitted that mothers are superheroes.
Addressing previous speculation about her relationship with rapper boyfriend Cordae, with whom she welcomed daughter Shai, Osaka dispelled fears of a possible breakup. According to her, they built their relationship on a good foundation that is hinged on respect and open communication.
“At the end of the day, we both want what’s best for Shai.”
“She is so pure,” she said about her five-month-old daughter. “Like, every time she sees me, no matter what, she’ll smile. And she’s going in the phase now that she’ll kind of reach out her arms a little bit.”
Aside from her achievements on the court, Osaka has been open about her mental health struggles. Following her withdrawal from the 2021 French Open due to criticism for refusing post-match interviews, she revealed her history of depression.
“I just want people to talk about [mental health] and not feel ashamed,” she said. “Normalize it.”