She is Naomi Osaka, born to a Haitian father and a Japanese mother on October 16, 1997, in Osaka, Japan.
Naomi’s father was inspired by watching the Williams sisters play at the 1999 French Open. Despite having little exposure to the sport of tennis, François began the tennis training of his two daughters.
Training his children in the US, François and his wife decided their daughters would represent Japan. Naomi’s sister, Mari Osaka, is also a professional tennis player.
Naomi has since gone on to become the only Japanese Grand Slam singles champion.
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 10: Naomi Osaka of Japan celebrates a point in her quarterfinal match against Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands during day five of the 2020 Brisbane International at Pat Rafter Arena on January 10, 2020, in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)
Osaka gained significant fame at the age of just 16. In 2016, she was through to the final round at WTA Finals at the age of 18, where she fell to Caroline Wozniacki in the finals. Nevertheless, Osaka broke into the top 50 of the WTA rankings for the first time.
The same year, she made her maiden appearance at a Grand Slam in Melbourne. She was also crowned as the WTA ‘Newcomer of the Year.’
The year 2018 showered prosperity over Osaka. She won her first Grand Slam by defeating her childhood idol Serena Williams. She also became the first Japanese to contest and win a Grand Slam final.
Osaka continued her Majors winning streak at the Australian Open 2019, where she defeated Petra Kvitova in the finals. She also reached the highest ranking in her career by securing the world number one position.
After her Australian Open victory, her career took a turn. She parted ways with her coach Sascha Bajin and went title-less for a few months.
Osaka trained under Jermaine Jenkins, but she called off her association with him within six months. At present, she trains under Wim Fissette.
In her hometown tournament at Pan Pacific Open 2019 in Osaka, the Japanese ace finally ended her title-less run.
The following week, she went on to clinch the title in Beijing, China by knocking down Ashleigh Barty in the finals. The end of her 2019 season was marred by injuries.
Osaka’s 2020 season started with a good run at the Brisbane International. Then, at the Australian Open, Osaka progressed to the third round, where she was stunned by youngster Coco Gauff.
After the resumption of tennis post the hiatus due to coronavirus, Osaka made the final in her first tournament itself – the Cincinnati Masters. However, she withdrew moments before the final, due to an injury.
She fought the injury at the US Open soon after, and reached another final, setting up a rematch against Victoria Azarenka. Osaka stormed back after losing the first set to win the match and her third Grand Slam title, second at the US Open.
She then withdrew from the French Open due to another injury. Osaka ended the 2020 season and begins the 2021 season as the world number three.
She loves playing on hard courts and she doesn’t really enjoy playing on the grass courts of Wimbledon.
Osaka is dating rapper YBN Cordae. Once as a fangirl, she accepted a ‘date’ with Michael B Jordan for the premiere of Creed 2.
Out of those, her endorsements earned her a mammoth $34 million throughout the year, while her on-court earnings amounted to $3.4 million.
Her career prize-money aggregates to $17,770,234 in the year 2020. Osaka also ranks 29th in the list of the world’s highest-paid athletes in 2020.
Her net worth is estimated at $25 million in the year 2020.
Over the past ten years, Yonex has been sponsoring Osaka’s tennis rackets. Nike supports her with apparel. She is the ambassador for Japanese automobile manufacturer Nissan Motor and Japanese electronics manufacturer Citizen Watch.
She also endorses several other Japanese companies, including noodle maker Nissin Foods, cosmetics producer Shiseido, the broadcasting station Wowow, and airline All Nippon Airways (ANA).
Naomi Osaka is the brand ambassador for Mastercard. Her other endorsements include Bare Minerals, Body Armor, Hyperice, Melco Resorts, Morinaga, and Ariel Japan.
Osaka was also declared one of the most marketable female athletes in the world.
During the COVID-19-induced lockdown in July 2020, Osaka and her older sister Mari collaborated with UNICEF to design and produce a limited-edition face mask, which was made available for the public to buy.
The proceeds from the initiative went to the needy in Japan, where Osaka hails from.
Beverly Hills, California, United States
6 WTA titles
Yonex, Nike, Nissan Motors, Mastercard, ANA, Nissin, Citizen Watch, Shiseido, Wowow, etc.
US $25 million
1.8m (5 ft 11 in)
Official Website – Naomi Osaka
Twitter – @Naomi_Osaka_
Instagram – Naomi Osaka