Naomi Osaka Sweetrocks Inspiring Woman
Naomi Osaka is a Japanese professional tennis player. She is the reigning champion in women’s singles at the Australian Open. Osaka has been ranked No. 1 by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), and is the first Asian player to hold the top ranking in singles. She has won five titles on the WTA Tour, including two titles at both the Grand Slam and Premier Mandatory levels.
Born in Japan to a Haitian father and a Japanese mother, Osaka has lived in the United States since she was three years old. She came to prominence at the age of sixteen when she defeated former US Open champion Samantha Stosur in her WTA Tour debut at the 2014 Stanford Classic. Two years later, she reached her first WTA final at the 2016 Pan Pacific Open in Japan to enter the top 50 of the WTA rankings. Osaka made her breakthrough into the upper echelon of women’s tennis in 2018, when she won her first WTA title at the Indian Wells Open. Later in the year, she defeated 23-time Grand Slam singles champion Serena Williams in the final of the US Open to become the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam singles title. She then won another Grand Slam title at the 2019 Australian Open, her very next Grand Slam event.
Osaka is one of the most marketable female athletes in the world, earning an estimated $16 million in endorsements alone in 2019, known for her multi-ethnic background and her shy, candid personality. On the court, Osaka has an aggressive playing style with a powerful serve that can reach 125 miles per hour (200 km/h).
Naomi decided to relinquish her American citizenship in 2019 so that she could represent Japan at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and also in accordance with Japan’s Nationality Act, which requires dual citizens to choose a nationality by the age of 22. Osaka can understand Japanese, but is not very confident speaking the language. She has said, “I can understand way more Japanese than I can speak.” At press conferences, Osaka can take questions in Japanese but typically will answer them in English.
Thank you Naomi Osaka (#NaomiOsaka) for being an Inspiring Woman!
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