4 interesting facts about US Open winner, Naomi Osaka
The world witnessed a dramatic scene at this year’s US Open final when 20-year-old Naomi Osaka defeated her idol Serena Williams on Saturday to clinch her first grand slam title in New York.
Osaka, became the first Japanese to win a grand slam title after her straight-sets win was overshadowed by Serena Williams’ outbursts in the US Open final.
The 20-year-old Naomi Osaka is a professional tennis player representing Japan.
Osaka’s playing style is aggressive, she’s an offensive baseline player able to hit winners off both sides. She likes to attack with her big forehand, but she can plant her feet and rip her backhand for winners as well.
Osaka’s performance to earn a 6-2, 6-4 win over 23 grand-slam winner Williams was mature in play as well as composure. In seven matches played en route to the title she only dropped one set and a total of 34 games.
After her victory, Osaka will be the 7th best player in the world which is the highest rank of her career.
Who is Naomi Osaka ?
Osaka was born in Japan on 16 October 1997 to a Japanese mother, Tamaki Osaka, and Haitian father, Leonard Francois, before moving to America. She has dual Japanese and American citizenship.
Osaka moved at the age of three with her family to the United States where she currently resides in Florida. She graduated from Elmont Alden Terrace Primary and Broward Virtual High School.
Her tennis club was the Harold Solomon Institute (Florida Tennis SBT Academy), ProWorld Tennis Academy.
She has risen to a career-high seventh from 19th in the world rankings following her US Open win.
Osaka won the Indian Wells WTA title in March, which is often known as the ‘fifth major’ in tennis.
The Florida resident is a self-confessed Pokemon nerd.
Naomi Osaka has been playing professional tennis since 2013, and she became an international sensation when she beat the highly-seasoned Angelique Kerber in the first round of last year’s finals.
In addition to defeating Kerber, Osaka has won matches over other long-time tennis greats, including Maria Sharapova and Simona Halep.
Here are the three interesting fact about Osaka:
Like Serena, Her Sister Is Also a Professional Tennis Player
Naomi and her older sister Mari Osaka, who is also a tennis pro, are sometimes loosely compared to Venus and Serena Williams. The duo have been doubles partners for years, representing their Japanese heritage one defeat at a time.
This Isn’t Her First Time Playing Against Serena Williams
At the Miami Masters in March, Osaka won a match against Williams 6-3 6-2, according to The Telegraph. But let’s remember this was right after Serena gave birth to baby Olympia, so potentially she was just warming up.
Osaka’s dream since childhood was to play against Williams in a Grand Slam final
Osaka was not even 2 years old when Williams won her first U.S. Open singles title in 1999.
Osaka dreamed of one day competing against Williams in a majors final. In third grade, she wrote a school report about her idol, according to The Wall Street Journal.
And after Osaka defeated Madison Keys in the U.S. Open semifinals, she said she been daydreaming during the match of getting the chance to play Williams.
She represented Japan as early as 13 years old
There have been reports stating she and her sister were rejected by the United States Tennis Association when they were starting out. Osaka’s father decided to sign both siblings with Japan’s tennis association. She began to represent Japan at the tender age of 13.
What was the reaction in Japan after her victory?
Osaka’s profile has soared in Japan, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe tweeting his pride on behalf of the nation.
She is the latest dual heritage athlete to rise to prominence, along with sprinter Asuka Cambridge, baseball player Yu Darvish and judo star Mashu Baker.
Abe thanked her for “giving Japan a boost of inspiration at this time of hardship” – an apparent reference to last week’s deadly Typhoon Jedi and the Hokkaido earthquake that killed dozens of people.
Osaka is scheduled to head straight from New York to Japan to play in the Pan Pacific Open, which begins on 17 September, a tournament now billed as a “homecoming” for the new US Open champion.
The Yomiuri newspaper said Osaka was a “new heroine” while Japanese men’s tennis player Kei Nishikori posted his support for his compatriot in a number of tweets.