“Not Easy as a Young Child”: Naomi Osaka Recalls Tough Period During Elementary School in the USA

Published 04/08/2021, 7:04 AM EDT
Naomi Osaka of Japan attends a training session ahead of the 2019 WTA Finals at Shenzhen Bay Sports Center on October 26, 2019 in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province of China. (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)


World No. 2 Naomi Osaka was born to a Japanese mother and a Haitian father. Even though the star player represents Japan, since her childhood, she has lived in the United States of America and finished her primary school education there itself. 

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Recently, Naomi Osaka remembered her early days in America. It was a challenging time for her because she had not learned English and only knew Japanese. Therefore, this created a communication barrier for her, and she found it hard to make conversation with the other students and teachers.

Mar 29, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Naomi Osaka of Japan hits a backhand against Elise Mertens of Belgium (not pictured) in the fourth round in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Remembering that phase of her life, the Japanese player stated, “When we returned to the U.S., it was actually tough for me in elementary school because I did not speak English — only Japanese. The teachers and pupils couldn’t communicate with me at all for a while, which was not easy as a young child. But soon I learned English and it’s now my first language.”

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Naomi Osaka considers English as her main language

As a child, to be in such a situation must have proved to be jarring. However, with time, the 23-year-old athlete picked up the English language, and now she considers it as her first language. However, to date, her fascination with Japanese cartoon programs remains high. 

Osaka has won four Grand Slam titles over a short duration. With time, she has established herself as a true force in the game, and she defeats the best players in the game with ease. 

Tennis – Australian Open – Women’s Singles Final – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 20, 2021 Japan’s Naomi Osaka gives an interview as she celebrates with the trophy after winning her final match against Jennifer Brady of the U.S. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Osaka lifted her fourth Grand Slam title in Melbourne

In the current season, Naomi began her journey at the Australian Open. During the event, she caused havoc for her opponents and lifted her second Australian Open title in Melbourne. 

After that, the Japanese starlet was next seen in Miami for the season’s first WTA 1000 event. Unfortunately, she lost to Greek tennis professional Maria Sakkari and ended her 23-match winning streak. However, she will be seen on the clay courts in Monte Carlo next week.

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DIVE DEEPER

“Tough Lives”: Naomi Osaka Reveals Her Deep-Rooted Attachment With Haitian Culture

11 days ago

 

 

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Rohan Kollare

511 articles

Rohan Kollare is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. Rohan has a post-graduate diploma in Sports Management and a trophy cabinet adorned with accolades won in district and state-level tennis competitions. He has previously worked in Content Operations for Disney’s Hotstar for over a year, covering tennis and Formula One.

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