“Journey Which I Didn’t Enjoy”: Naomi Osaka’s 24-Year-Old Sister Announces Retirement From Tennis

Published 03/12/2021, 10:22 AM EST
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 24: Naomi Osaka of Japan speaks to media following her Women’s Singles third round defeat to Coco Gauff of the United States of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 24, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Kelly Defina/Getty Images)


Naomi Osaka has been a revelation since her emergence in 2018. From then on, four Grand Slam victories have followed, and she has ascended the tennis charts to become a global star. She does have an older sister, Mari Osaka, who is also a tennis player. But sadly, the 24-year-old has announced her retirement from tennis.

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Mari Osaka never got her career going like her sister Naomi. She was in the fringes of the top 300 players in the world, which was obviously tough. She announced her retirement using her Instagram handle.

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“I am retired from playing tennis. It was a journey which I didn’t enjoy ultimately but I’m grateful for all the memories and support I’ve gained and received over the years from the sport. I’m moving on now so you can look forward to new fun projects upcoming in the future.”

Mari Osaka’s career never took off

Mari’s highest ranking was 280, back in 2018. And now, she was ranked a lowly 335.

Being a lower-ranked player is always tough, but during the coronavirus, her troubles might have multiplied.

Mari Osaka never actually left the lower ITF tournament and on rare occasions, played the top WTA events. She has for the most part of her career played in the ITF circuit and occasionally played the WTA challenger events.

Naomi Osaka about her sister, Mari Osaka

Naomi Osaka regarded her sister as her biggest rival. As they both grew up playing tennis, Mari was the one triumphing their clashes.

“Up until I was 15, she was 6-0ing me, like, ridiculous! I don’t know what happened – something finally clicked in my head – but for sure she was beating me. In the win-loss category, she’s still up by a million,” Naomi Osaka said.

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Osaka is the reigning US Open and Australian Open champ. And she would have loved to have her sister beside her in the WTA circuit. Yet, Mari is still 24 and might have other plans inside or outside tennis.

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Bhavishya Mittal

1071 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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