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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Saturday December 16, 2023

Naomi Osaka has graced the cover of InStyle magazine this month, ahead of her long awaited return to the sport in 2024.

Osaka delves into the issues she faced during pregnancy, which was a far more difficult journey than she had expected.

While pregnant, according to InStyle, Osaka tested positive for Group B streptococcus, a bacterial infection that an estimated 20 million pregnant women a year carry and can pass onto their babies.

“I don't think people know how hard pregnancy is; no one really talks about it as much,” she said. “Going into it, you kind of think: 'Oh, it's this beautiful journey.' But it's kind of rough.”

Osaka relayed that she experience some of the most excruciating pain she had ever felt while in labor.

“I do remember feeling in that moment, This is the worst pain of my life,” Osaka said. “And I know that if I get through this, then everything else will feel very easy.”

With the challenge behind her, she is now embarking on the journey of motherhood, an experience she says has changed her forever.

“From the moment that you come back home from the hospital, everything's different.”

And she is ready to throw herself fully into what she recently called “chapter 2 of this tennis journey” in a social media post. Osaka’s comeback will begin next month in Australia.

“You're not going to play tennis forever,” she said. “And you kind of have to cherish the years that you can play. I do want to be a good role model for Shai, and I want her to see that this was an important chapter in my life.”