Naomi Osaka recently announced that she won't be playing in the first major of the year in Melbourne. Fans at the Australian Open will miss the former world number 1, but she has now revealed a very good reason for her absence.

On Wednesday, Osaka shared a "little life update" on her Instagram, where she shared that she is pregnant with her first child. She is expected to extend her hiatus due to the pregnancy. The Japanese tennis star won't be back in the professional tour until at least 2024, where she has promised to be at the Australian Open.

The 25-year-old is understood to be having the baby with long-time partner Cordae, a rapper.

In the post, she shared her hopes for the future. "I know that I have so 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.'"

The two-time Australian Open champion won't be seen back in Melbourne this year, but this is not the first time that she has taken a hiatus. She had also previously taken mental health breaks and even pulled out of both the French Open and Wimbledon for that reason. However, the tennis world was delighted to learn that she had more joyful reasons for stepping away from the sport this time around.

Osaka has had a rollercoaster career, with massive highs such as the Australian Open victories coupled with a pair of US Open titles. However, she has also crashed out of several tournaments unexpectedly early.

She says that taking long breaks allow her to discover "a new love and appreciation for the game I've dedicated my life to."

Meanwhile, another former world number 1, Ashleigh Barty, also announced last week that she is pregnant. The news comes just a year after she shocked the world by suddenly retiring while holing the top spot in the rankings.

Naomi Osaka
Japan's Naomi Osaka drew attention to the pressures faced by athletes after pulling out of the French Open and Wimbledon in 2021 Photo: AFP / Tiziana FABI