On Dec. 31, as the final hours of 2021 ticked away, Naomi Osaka wrote on Twitter, “I’ve never been more excited for a year to be over.”

Osaka, who had not played a competitive tennis match since losing in the third round of the U.S. Open to the world’s 73rd-ranked player, was getting a jump on the start of 2022 in Melbourne, Australia, after her second lengthy break from the game in seven months. And who could blame her?

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