Four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka is ready to return to the tennis court.
According to ESPN, the two-time US Open champion has received a wild card into the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic, a hard court warm-up for the New York-based Grand Slam. The event takes place Aug. 1-7 at the San Jose State University Tennis Center.
Naomi has not played on the WTA tour since losing in the first round of the French Open. She skipped Wimbledon with an Achilles injury.
Osaka’s four Grand Slam titles have all come on hard courts, with two at the Australian Open and two at the US Open. It’s absolutely her best surface, and when she’s in top form, she’s very hard to beat. For her fans, it’s a good sign that she’s playing a warm-up for New York. For her competitors, it’s not the best news.
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Naomi Osaka is one of the most popular athletes in the world. As a diehard tennis fan, I’m always excited to see her play. But as a Naomi fan, I’m genuinely happy that she’s found a balance between competitive tennis and her private life.
This year’s US Open is shaping up to be a very interesting tournament, as it was recently announced that Serena Williams would play the National Bank Open in Toronto, yes another US Open warm-up.
The 23-time Grand Slam champion memorably returned to major competition at Wimbledon, where she played an amazing first-round match that she ultimately lost. Throughout the match she moved well and we got glimpses of vintage Serena. Her biggest weakness appeared to be her obvious lack of match play. She made uncharacteristic mistakes that could only come from missing so much competitive playing time. With time to properly train and play a more serious warm-up, Serena could be looking to grab No. 24 in New York.
The 2022 US Open begins Monday, Aug. 29 and airs live on the ESPN networks.