Naomi Osaka joins star-studded field at Abu Dhabi Open

After welcoming her baby daughter in July, Osaka returned to action at the start of the year

By Team KT

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Japanese superstar Naomi Osaka. — AFP
Japanese superstar Naomi Osaka. — AFP

Published: Mon 22 Jan 2024, 6:31 PM

Four-time Grand Slam-winner Naomi Osaka will compete for glory at next month’s Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open, with the Japanese star the latest high-profile player to be confirmed for the second edition of the WTA 500 tournament.

Hosted in partnership with Mubadala and presented by Abu Dhabi Sports Council, the competition returns to the International Tennis Centre, Zayed Sports City on February 3-11, with a host of big-name players, including Elena Rybakina, Ons Jabeur and Maria Sakkari, all ranked in the world’s top 10, set to battle it out for the title.

They will now be joined by former World Number 1 Osaka who, like British Grand Slam-winner Emma Raducanu, enters the competition as a wildcard.

Osaka won the first of her four major titles in 2018, defeating Serena Williams in the US Open final to become the first Japanese Grand Slam singles champion, with success in the Australian Open following a year later.

She then claimed a second US Open title in 2020, before winning the Australian Open once again in 2021.

“I’m very excited about competing in this year’s Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open and performing in front of the UAE tennis fans, who I know from previous experience will create a fantastic atmosphere," Osaka said.

“It’s a high-quality field with some of the world’s best players taking part, and I’m looking forward to what I’m sure will be a fantastic event.”

Nigel Gupta, Tournament Director at the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open, was delighted to have Osaka on board.

“With only a matter of weeks to go until this year’s tournament, we are absolutely delighted to announce that Naomi Osaka will be participating as part of a hugely talented field," Gupta said.

“With 10 of the world’s top 20 players competing, along with Grand Slam-winners Naomi and Emma Raducanu, fans attending have so much to look forward to. It promises to be a truly special tournament.”

After welcoming her baby daughter in July, Osaka returned to action at the start of the year, competing in both the Brisbane International and Australian Open.

In total, she has won seven WTA titles over the course of her career to date.


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