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30 Not-So-Known Facts About Naomi Osaka That Every Fan Should Know

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Naomi Osaka
(Photo : AndrewHenkelman)

Naomi Osaka, the four-time Grand Slam singles champion, ranked No. 1 by the Women’s Tennis Association, is the first Asian player to hold the top ranking in singles. She had head turning right at the age of 16, with her victory against the former US open champion Samantha Stosur, right in her WTA debut. Since then, she has become a phenomenon. Still, the tennis player manages to keep her personal life away from the limelight. Here are some interesting things about this champion that will make you love her more:

    Naomi Osaka"Naomi Osaka" by pbepmaop98 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

  1.  With her second Australian Open title, she became one of the only three players in the Open Era, along with Roger Federer and Monica Seles, to win the first four Grand Slam finals.
  2.  Her victory against the 23-time Grand Slam singles champion Serena Williams, in the final of the US Open, made her the first ever Japanese player to have won a Grand Slam singles title in history.
  3.  In the year 2020, she became the highest-paid female athlete of all time, with a total of $37.4 million, out of which $34 million was from endorsements. However, she was the 29th highest paid-athlete of the year, as well as the 8th highest-paid athlete in endorsements.
  4.  For her activism related to the Black Lives Matter cause, she was named as the “Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year,” in 2020.
  5.  She was also ranked as one among the Times’ “100 Most Influential People in the World,” in the same year, again for her activism. In 2019, she was ranked in the list for representing professional tennis as a major champion and role model.
  6.  Osaka became the brand ambassador for Tag Heuer watches as well as Louis Vuitton in January 2021, and will be appearing in the Spring-Summer 2021 campaign.
  7.  Since 2008, she had been supplied with rackets from the Japanese sporting equipment manufacturer Yonex. She currently uses the Yonex Ezone 98 racket, equipped with Polytour Pro 125 and Rexis 130 strings.
  8.  Being one of the leading activists in professional tennis, she decided to withdraw from the 2020 Cincinnati Open in New York, in order to raise awareness for the Jacob Blake police shooting incident.
  9.  The tournament, as a form of support for her cause, had all of the ATP and WTA matches for a day postponed to another day.
  10.  She became the co-owner of North Carolina Courage in the National Women's Soccer League, which is the top level of the women's sport in the U.S, in the year 2021.
  11. Naomi Osaka"Naomi Osaka" by pmenzel86 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

  12.  Naomi Osaka was born on October 16, 1997 to Leonard Francois and Tamaki Osaka, in Chūō-ku, Osaka in Japan. She has an elder sister Mari Osaka, who is also a professional tennis player.
  13.  Her father is from Jacmel, Haiti, while her mother is from Hokkaido, Japan. The sisters took after their mother’s family name, as they were living in Japan.
  14.  Her family moved to Valley Stream, New York on Long Island, to live with her paternal grandparents, when Naomi was just 3 years old.
  15.  Watching the William sisters compete at the 1999 French Open, her father decided to train his daughters following the footsteps of Richard Williams, who trained his daughters to become the best players in the world.
  16.  She is also the brand ambassador of Nissan, the Japanese automobile manufacturer as well as Citizen Watch, the Japanese electronics manufacturer.
  17.  She also endorses Nissin Foods – Japanese noodle maker, Shiseido – Japanese cosmetics producer, All Nippon Airways – Japanese airline, and Wowow – Japanese broadcasting station.
  18.  Osaka began working with Patrick Tauma at the ISP Academy, at the young age of 15, before moving to Harold Solomon Tennis Academy. She even trained at the ProWorld Tennis Academy.
  19.  She personally travelled to Minneapolis, Minnesota, in order to participate in the protests of the police killing of George Floyd, on May 25, 2020.
  20.  Osaka, in an op-ed in Esquire magazine, outlined her personal reasons for protesting police brutality, as well as for supporting Black Lives Matter.
  21.  In fact, during the 2020 US Open, she walked onto the court wearing masks prominently displaying the named of every African American killed in the past few years, a majority of whom were killed by the police.
  22. Naomi Osaka"Naomi Osaka" by Carine06 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

  23.  Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Elijah McClain, Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, and Philando Castile, were highlighted by Osaka. Parents of Martin and Arbery directly praised her for her actions.
  24.  In the year 2019, Nike replaced Adidas as her apparel sponsor, and also introduced a clothing collection inspired by the Japanese flag, featuring her monogram logo with her initials. Adidas has been her apparel sponsor from 2015 to 2019.
  25.  Osaka has been in a relationship with American rapper Cordae Amari Dunston, professionally known by the name YBN Cordae, for over two years.
  26.  Following a lackluster 2017 season, she decided to switch coaches to Sascha Bajin, under whose guidance she rose to No. 1 in the world. Before this, she had never been ranked above No. 40.
  27.  However, just after her 2019 Australian Open Title, she split with Bajin, then hired Jermaine Jenkins as her new coach for the rest of the season.
  28.  Later, she again replaced Jenkins with her father as her coach and went on to win the first two tournaments. For the start of the 2020 season, she hired Wim Fissette as her coach.
  29.  Osaka has been featured as the leading character in a manga series in a Japanese shojo magazine – Nakayoshi, published by Kodansha.
  30.  Her sister Mari is said to have been helping Futago Kamikita, to draw the entire series. The very first edition of the manga series was in the February 2021 issue, released in 2020.
  31.  In the year 2018, she made her Hopman Cup debut with Yūichi Sugita. This marked the first appearance of Japan, since 2001, at the exhibition tournament.
  32.  Osaka’s serve has been clocked at up to 200 kilometers per hour. This makes her one of the ten fastest servers on record in the history of WTA.
  33.  Naomi Osaka Net Worth: $25 Million

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