The tennis pro welcomed her daughter Shai last June
Although she may be disappointed to be leaving the Australian Open so early, Naomi Osaka has a lot to look forward to when she gets home.
On Tuesday, the tennis pro, 26, shared a statement on Instagram after exiting the Open in the first round.
"Writing this on my way back home and I have to say that I'm extremely thankful," she began. "I remember last year I wished I had an opportunity to play again on Rod Laver Arena and this year that happened so one of my dreams already came true."
"Currently however my entire being is so disappointed with my result, the standards I set for myself are so incredibly high," Osaka continued. "I try to remind myself that I was pregnant six months ago and I can't expect amazing results from the jump — that doesn't really do much to quell my thoughts though."
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"Understanding the importance of time is a skill I improved on after having Shai, things that used to bother me don't bother me anymore," she went on, adding that she hopes this new habit will help her move on from her loss. "I don't have time for it. In that same aspect I feel I don't have time to mope after losses anymore, the world moves on and I have to continue to walk forward."
While she acknowledged it's a "bittersweet feeling" to be leaving so early, Osaka said she's "so happy to go see Shai soon. She's been scooting back and forth lately so I'm relieved I'll be back home in time to see her first crawl ❤️."
Osaka shares her 6-month-old daughter with rapper Cordae.
Earlier this month, the four-time Grand Slam champ debuted a new video announcing her partnership with Bobbie, the mom-founded pediatric nutrition company. In the video, she held a baby as her monologue began about the hard work behind her return to tennis.
"You know what pushes me? You," she said as the camera panned to Osaka, whose daughter Shai's name could be seen on a necklace worn by the new mom.
"Parents, we push harder," Osaka said as the video closed out.
In the caption, she wrote, "Being a parent is hard. As a professional athlete, I am no stranger to hard work or early mornings, but the last 6 months as a new mom has given me a whole new appreciation and understanding of what parents do every single day."
"Parents, moms in particular, are historically told that babies will be a barrier to personal goals — that they will stop you from achieving your dreams. But I have discovered that Shai is my ultimate motivator; she makes me want to achieve greatness," Osaka continued.
"I’m proud of myself for continuing to chase my dreams while also being a mom. And I recognize that I’m fortunate to have the support to return to work this month on my own terms, in my own time. So many American parents don’t have that choice. But we ALL deserve it."
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