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Brisbane International: Naomi Osaka returns to tennis with a win over Tamara Korpatsch to start the new season

Former world No 1 Naomi Osaka returned to tennis in her first match since 2021 to kick off the new season; Osaka beat Tamara Korpatsch after winning a second-set tiebreaker; Andy Murray faces Grigor Dimitrov at the Brisbane International live on Sky Sports from 8.30am

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Naomi Osaka admitted she felt the nerves on her return to action after 15 months away from competitive tennis as she beat Tamara Korpatsch at the Brisbane International

Naomi Osaka made a winning return to tennis as the new season began.

Osaka beat Germany's Tamara Korpatsch 6-3 7-6 in the first round of the Brisbane International.

The former world No 1 has not played since withdrawing from the Pan Pacific Trophy with a knee injury in September 2022. She became a mother for the first time in July.

Naomi Osaka
Image: Osaka feels she is starting a new chapter in her career

Four-time grand slam champion Osaka returned to the court in style, breaking Korpatsch to love in the first game and did not face a break point as she clinched the first set in 39 minutes.

Osaka looked set for a routine victory when she broke for a 5-3 lead in the second set, but Korpatsch fought back to take it into a tiebreak - Osaka winning 11-9 on her third match point.

"The last couple of years that I played before I had my daughter, I didn't return as much love as I was given," Osaka said on court after the match.

"I feel like that's what I want to do in this chapter.

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"I just really appreciate people coming out and knowing me and cheering for me because I feel like there was a time I was just a little kid trying to watch my role models play.

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Osaka says she has been inspired by other athlete mothers and insists she still has 'big dreams' to fulfil in her career

"So it feels really surreal sometimes to be playing on these courts.

"I was super nervous the whole time."

The former US Open and Australian Open champion will meet Karolina Pliskova, another former world No 1 and a three-time champion in Brisbane, in the second round.

Persistent rain meant matches on outside courts were suspended, confining matches to the covered main stadium.

In the men's draw, third-seeded Ben Shelton, the 21-year-old American who reached the US Open semi-finals last year, was beaten 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-3 by Roman Safiullin.

The 26-year-old Safiullin is ranked 39th but had wins over Carlos Alcaraz and Alexander Zverev last year.

The Brisbane International is live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Mix this week

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