Naomi Osaka posts heartwarming message ahead of Miami Open final

Following a difficult 12 months, Naomi Osaka is back at the height of her game and is ready to compete in her first final since February 2021.

The 24-year-old has reached the final of the Miami Open, where she will meet with the new number one in waiting, Iga Świątek.

After beating Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic in the semis, Osaka posted a heartwarming message of gratitude on social media.

“Man idk what’s going on but I’m just so grateful right now. Cheers to the ups and downs of life for making me appreciate this moment even more. We’re back in a final, see you on Saturday,” the four-time Grand Slam winner wrote.

Osaka has bounced back from a tough period and could be looking at securing her sixth career title in Miami this evening. Should she defeat the in-form Świątek, the Japanese star will mark an incredible comeback following a lengthy absence.

After winning the Australian Open last year, Osaka rose to second in the world rankings and held her spot for six months before her form started to dip.

The former world number one withdrew from the French Open after boycotting media duties in order to safeguard her mental health. After that, she featured in just three tournaments — including the Olympic Games in her native country — before taking a hiatus from tennis with no clear indication of when she would return to the court.

Naomi Osaka

Osaka returned to tennis at the Melbourne Summer Series this January, where she reached the semi-final before being forced to withdraw due to injury. She then featured at the Australian Open and Indian Wells before making her mark in Miami.

Osaka has dropped just one set this entire tournament, brushing aside the likes of Angelique Kerber and Danielle Collins.

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Her win over Bencic puts her in a competition final for the first time since her triumph at the 2021 Australian Open to win her fourth Grand Slam title.

Osaka will take on Poland’s Świątek at 18.00 GMT this evening.

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