Naomi Osaka lands in Melbourne ahead of Australian Open: photos

Naomi Osaka arrives in Melbourne on Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021, ahead of the Australian Open.
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Naomi Osaka is inching closer to her tennis return.

The four-time Grand Slam winner touched down in Melbourne on Tuesday ahead of the 2022 Australian Open, which begins on Monday, Jan. 17. She was photographed walking through the airport solo, sporting glasses and a face mask as COVID-19 cases continue to rise.

The 24-year-old tennis sensation sported comfy attire as she made her way through Melbourne Airport on Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021.
The 24-year-old tennis sensation sported comfy attire after she touched down in Melbourne, Australia, on Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021.
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Osaka’s travel attire included a red hoodie with an image of the Mona Lisa on the front, paired with grey sweatpants by Uninterrupted and camel-colored Nike sneakers.

Osaka also played camerawoman upon her Melbourne arrival on Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021.
Osaka also played camerawoman upon her Melbourne arrival on Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021.
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The defending Australian Open women’s champion, who also sported long, blonde curls, was pictured with a black Louis Vuitton duffle on one shoulder, and a pink bag on the other.

Naomi Osaka lands in Melbourne, Australia.
The defending Australian Open star appeared to wave in Melbourne on Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021.
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On Monday, Osaka tweeted a photo of herself aboard an international flight with the caption, “See you in 16ish hours Australia!”

Ahead of her travels to Melbourne, Osaka sat courtside at Madison Square Garden to watch the Knicks beat the Hawks on Christmas Day.

Osaka, 24, is set to compete in the Melbourne Summer Set, which will take place Jan. 3-9.

Naomi Osaka sat courtside on Saturday during the Knicks game at Madison Square Garden.
Naomi Osaka sat courtside at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, Dec. 25, 2021, with her boyfriend, rapper Cordae, during the Knicks game.
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Naomi Osaka Knicks game
Osaka also took a selfie with a fan on Saturday, Dec. 25, 2021, during the Knicks game at Madison Square Garden.
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It will mark the end of her four-month hiatus after she tearfully announced in September that she was taking a break from tennis “for a while.” Osaka’s initial announcement came after a tough loss to Canadian teen Leylah Fernandez in the third round at this year’s US Open.

Earlier this month, the two-time Australian Open champion shared a rare glimpse at her training sessions in videos she posted to Twitter and Instagram.

Before that, Osaka teased her return to the court, writing, “kinda rusty but feels food to be back,” in a November Instagram post.