Japanese tennis star, Naomi Osaka has opened up on the difficulty of giving birth, describing it as the worst pain of her life.
The four-time Grand Slam champion is preparing to make her long-awaited return to tennis at the end of the month in Brisbane after spending a year out of the sport to give birth to her first child.
Osaka, who welcomed daughter Shai into the world with her rapper boyfriend Cordae, five months ago, will return at the warmup event for the Australian Open before the tournament in January.
Speaking about her experience in labour in an interview with InStyle, Osaka said: ‘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 admits in the interview that she initially had concerns over whether she would be a good enough mom to Shai before something clicked.
‘Moms are superheroes,’ she said. ‘But they’re also people.’
The former world No 1 has been with Cordae since 2019, but after giving birth to Shai the couple sparked fears that they had split just months into their journey as parents.
Osaka has shut down that speculation, nevertheless, after revealing about their relationship: ‘We built a really good foundation. I don’t know if it’s because he’s just an easygoing guy, but I think we just respect each other’s opinions. And if we disagree on something, we talk it out.
‘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.’