It was no different for reigning US Open Champion Naomi Osaka. 

It was a morning of feeding kangaroos, cuddling a koala (one chose to relieve itself during a photo opportunity) and having a bit of a hit with a racquet while holding a python.

Although it is the first time the 21-year-old had come face to face with Australia's cute and not so cuddly fauna, having watched them from the television previously.

"At home, I basically stay inside and watch TV. I always watch Animal Planet and Discovery Channel," Osaka said.

It's been a big four months for Osaka, who was thrust into the spotlight after her US Open win against her hero Serena Williams. 

Osaka flew under the radar for most of 2018 but the young star has risen from world No.68 to No.5 with a memorable season. 

However, it is her first time returning to the Brisbane International since 2016, where she was an 18-year-old qualifier and didn't play in the main draw.

Turning her attention to the first Grand Slam of the year in the Australian Open, Osaka isn't feeling the pressure at being the player to beat.

"I never feel pressure to perform. I enjoy grand slams the most," said Osaka.

"I always feel there is a certain degree of pressure but it's from myself."

The Brisbane International commences on December 31 and runs to January 6.