THE BREAK: Osaka gave birth to her first child earlier this summer.


NEW YORK—She’s back!

Two-time US Open champion Naomi Osaka made a glammed-up return to the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on Wednesday, participating in a US Open Mental Health Forum alongside Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps and U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy.

Osaka was last at the Open in 2022, shortly before beginning a maternity leave that resulted in the birth of daughter Shai. The former world No. 1 is reportedly planning a "heavy schedule" after initially promising fans she would be back on court in time for the 2024 Australian Open. In the meantime, spoke to a subject close to her heart.

The 25-year-old first opened up about mental health following her withdrawal from Roland Garros in 2021, and later revealed she was seeing a therapist for symptoms of anxiety and depression.


“Believe it or not, I am naturally introverted and do not court the spotlight,” she wrote in an op-ed for TIME in 2021. “I always try to push myself to speak up for what I believe to be right, but that often comes at a cost of great anxiety.

“I feel uncomfortable being the spokesperson or face of athlete mental health as it’s still so new to me and I don’t have all the answers. I do hope that people can relate and understand it’s O.K. to not be O.K., and it’s O.K. to talk about it. There are people who can help, and there is usually light at the end of any tunnel.”

Phelps, who has also spoken out about mental health struggles, was one of the people Osaka thanked in that op-ed, making for a heartwarming reunion between the two champions at the Open’s forum taking place during quarterfinal action on Arthur Ashe Stadium.