There are exactly eight women in the singles tournament at this year’s Australian Open. Some of them were leaders of the WTA rankings in the past, won Grand Slam tournaments and earned several dozen million dollars on the court. They could calmly retreat to the comfort of their home and enjoy family life, but they came back to play and win again.
Who are the players who gave birth and returned to the game?
Naomi Osaka – the most titled and youngest mother in the WTA
The most famous one is of course Naomi Osaka. But she is also the youngest of eight tennis moms. He is only 26 years old (he will be 27 in October), but he has already had a lot of success in his career.
Japanese she won Grand Slam tournaments four times – US Open twice (2018, 2020) and Australian Open twice (2019, 2021). She won a total of seven WTA tournaments. She was the leader of the ranking for 25 weeks. These very good results may have come too early. Osaka couldn’t cope with the pressure and fell into depression. She withdrew from tennis life for some time, but quickly announced that she was pregnant.
In July 2023 she gave birth to a daughter, Shai. She returned to training in the fall. At the turn of the year, she played a tournament in Brisbane – she won one match and lost one (against Karolina Pliskova). In Melbourne, her rival in the first round is Caroline Garcia. He currently ranks 833rd in the WTA rankings.
Will Angelique Kerber be Iga Świątek’s rival?
For Angelique Kerber the performance in AO is also a return to the Grand Slam after maternity leave. She last played at Wimbledon in 2022. In career she won three Grand Slam tournaments – Australian Open and US Open (2016), Wimbledon (2018). She was the leader of the ranking for 34 weeks.
A 36-year-old German woman of Polish origin gave birth to a daughter, Liana, in February last year. Today he is 657th in the WTA ranking. Before the AO, she played in the United Cup, losing her singles match against Iga Świątek in the final. Her opponent in the first round is Danielle Collins. If she wins, she may meet the leader of the WTA rankings.
Caroline Wozniacki has already given birth to two children
Another very famous mothers who are on the bushel, but who have already come back and played Grand Slams after motherhood are Caroline Wozniacki and Victoria Azarenka. The first one had a very long break – lasting three and a half years. The Dunka formally ended her career in 2020. but we saw her on the court last year, for example at the US Open.
Wozniacki was also the WTA leader, and in 2018 she won the Australian Open. She is the mother of two children – Olivia (born 2021) and James (born 2022). She is ranked 252nd in the WTA ranking, and in the first round of this year’s AO she won thanks to Magda Linette’s draw.
Azarenka is currently the highest-ranked tennis player who is a mother. It ranks 22nd. The Belarusian woman’s son will turn eight in February. The 34-year-old player is also a former ranking leader and winner of Grand Slam tournaments – she won the Australian Open in 2012 and 2013.
Elina Svitolina’s Wimbledon semi-final shortly after giving birth
He’s right behind Azarenka on our list Elina Svitolina. The 29-year-old Ukrainian is ranked 23rd in the WTA. In the past, she was the third player in the world. Her greatest success is winning the WTA Finals in Singapore.
In October 2022 she gave birth to a daughter, Skai. This did not prevent her from advancing to the Wimbledon semi-finals last summer, having previously defeated Iga Świątek. In the first round of AO she defeated Australian Taylah Preston.
Maria, Wickmayer, Townsend
36 years old Tatiana Maria she impressed primarily at Wimbledon in 2022, where she played in the semi-finals. The German of Polish origin still maintains her high form – she is 42nd in the WTA. He has two children, daughters Charlotte (born 2013) and Cecilla (born 2021). In AO she defeated Camila Osorio on Sunday.
She has already said goodbye to the tournament Yanina Wickmayer. The 34-year-old Belgian, who is 79th in the WTA, became a mother in April 2021. He has a daughter, Luana. In 2021, an American became a mother TaylorTownsend, who was in the fourth round of the US Open five years ago. In the current AO he plays with Paula Badosa.