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Celebrities At The Los Angeles Clippers Game

Source: Allen Berezovsky / Getty

Naomi Osaka has some news about the upcoming 2023 tennis season, but it’s not what sports fans expected. The 25-year-old Grand Slam champion viewed to be an heir apparent to Serena Williams, announced today that she is pregnant and will miss the entire year.

The two-time Australian Open champion had already withdrawn from the tournament, which Williams famously played while she was pregnant with daughter Olympia. The Australian Open, the first Grand Slam tourney of the tennis season starts next Monday.

“I realize that life is so short and I don’t take any moments for granted, everyday is a new blessing and adventure,” Osaka shared via her Twitter account on Wednesday. “I know that I have much to look forward to in the future, one thing I’m looking forward to is for my kid to watch one of my matches and tell someone, ‘that’s my mom,’ haha. 2023 will be a year that’ll be full of lessons for me and I hope I’ll see you guys in the start of the next one cause I’ll be at [Australian Open] 2024.”

Though he has yet to comment and she didn’t include him in her post, Osaka and boyfriend Cordae (formerly YBN Cordae) have been an item since 2019. The Raleigh, N.C. native, born Cordae Amari Dunston was raised in Maryland. The 25-year-old two-time Grammy nominee has released two albums on Atlantic Records.

He said he had no idea who Naomi Osaka was when they first got together, referencing Serena and Venus Williams as the only tennis players he knew of.

He told GQ in 2021, that the 2019 U.S. Open, which became his and Osaka’s official coming out as a couple event, was his first-ever tennis match.

“I don’t know if I ever told Naomi this or not, but I felt really out of place,” Cordae said. “Like, that was my first time being in an environment like that in my entire life. My elementary school, middle school, high school was 99.9 percent Black. Kids who look like me. It just felt really weird for me being in that space.”

Osaka has been transparent about her struggles with mental health, dropping out of the tennis circuit after a loss at the U.S. Open in 2021. Though she’s a two-time winner of the Australian Open, winning it in 2021, she only played 11 tournaments in 2022.

Financially, Naomi Osaka should be fine, as she’s signed lucrative deals with the likes of Tag Heuer, LVMH, Nike, Beats Electronics, and Yonex, making her Forbes’ highest-paid female athlete in 2022 to the tune of $51.1 million. She founded a talent agency, Evolve, in 2022 with her agent Stuart Duguid. They’ve already signed up tennis bad boy Nick Kyrgios and African-Arabian tennis player Ons Jabeur, currently ranked number two in the world.

Coco Gauff and tennis legend Billie Jean King both tweeted their congratulations. Cordae hasn’t posted on Instagram recently, but you may not ever hear any confirmation from him.

“We were dating for almost a year before people knew about us,” Cordae told GQ. “So we kind of move very reclusively. We don’t really post intimate moments, because I feel as though they’re sacred. A relationship is really a sacred thing. Once you let outside influences get into it, it becomes less sacred.”