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Naomi Osaka Claps Back At Critics 'Concerned' For Her Tennis Career Now That She's Pregnant

The four-time grand slam singles champion had a blunt message for 'concerned' fans after announcing her pregnancy back in January.

Naomi Osaka
Sarah Stier/Getty Images

It's no secret that when women announce they are pregnant or attempt to go back to work after giving birth, their ability to continue contributing meaningfully to their positions is questioned.

Tennis player Naomi Osaka announced back in January 2023 on Instagram with an image from an ultrasound appointment, that she was expecting. Since making the announcement, Osaka's decision not only to have a child but to take a brief hiatus from the sport left critics skeptical of her path forward as a mother and successful tennis player.

In the post with the ultrasound, Osaka explained:

"The past few years have been interesting, to say the least, but I find that it's the most challenging times in life that may be the most fun."
"These few months away from the sport have really given me a new love and appreciation for the game I've dedicated my life to. I realize that life is so short, and I don't take any moments for granted. Every day is a new blessing and adventure."
"I know that I have so much to look forward to in the future; one thing I'm looking forward to is for my kid to watch one of my matches and tell someone, 'Hey, that's my mom,' haha."
"2023 will be a year that'll be full of lessons for me, and I hope I'll see you guys in the start of the next one, because I'll be at Australia 2024."

At the end of the post, Osaka confided:

"Sidenote: I don't think there's a perfectly correct path to take in life, but I always felt that if you move forward with good intentions, you'll find your way eventually."

You can see that post here:

Since that post was shared in January, a lot of speculation has circled regarding Osaka's future as a successful tennis player and if it was possible to imagine a mother doing such a thing.

While some were avidly supportive of Osaka performing as, both, a mother and tennis player, many believed she would be out of the game for too long to come back competitively, or that her new duties as a mother would distract her from the court.

After seeing speculation building for several months, Osaka spoke up, tweeting:

"By the way, to the people that are suddenly concerned about my career:"
"There are plenty of male athletes with kids that are significantly less accomplished. You might wanna worry about them instead."
"Thanks for the concern, but you might wanna redirect it to someone that needs it, though."

Osaka clarified in a second tweet:

"Not trying to make this a male and female thing but let’s be FR [for real]."

You can see the tweet here:

Fans of Osaka were quick to praise her for the smart shutdown of the criticism.

While there are negative comments circulating about Osaka's ability to get back on the court, it's clear her fanbase is backing her in her decision to play again, to continue advancing her career as a pro tennis player and to be the best mom she can be, all at once.