“Way to Clear My Mind”: Naomi Osaka Opens Up on Balancing Career and Business

Published 05/02/2021, 6:50 AM EDT
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


Naomi Osaka has opened up on balancing both sides – her tennis career and the off-court avatar of a businesswoman who continues to break new grounds in the commercial and entrepreneurial space.

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The current World No.2 launched her claycourt season in Madrid with a win over compatriot Misaki Doi and will play Czech star Karolina Muchova in her next.

While four career Grand Slam titles, the last of which came at this year’s Australian Open, put her at the pinnacle of women’s tennis, her business profile has also been boosted no end with new deals and ventures.

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Naomi Osaka says tennis gave her opportunities to become an entrepreneur

Osaka has picked up a stake in a women’s soccer team in the US that she now co-owns with her idol and 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, has launched her skincare company and has also ventured into the art NFT (non-fungible token) space with elder sister Mari Osaka.

Quizzed on her success on both fronts during an interaction with the media, the World No.2 said it’s her tennis that brought her the opportunities to emerge as a successful entrepreneur and she grabbed them with both hands.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 8, 2021, Japan’s Naomi Osaka celebrates winning her first-round match against Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova REUTERS/Loren Elliott

“Yeah, for me I feel like on the court it’s quite different from off the court. I’m really lucky to have been presented the opportunities that I’m able to capitalize on, based on, playing tennis well,” Osaka said.

Osaka says what she does outside tennis is only for fun

Osaka added that more than minting money, her entrepreneurial pursuits give her a welcome distraction from tennis and help take her mind from the rigors of the Tour.

The 23-year-old said that everything that she does outside tennis is purely “for fun”.

“I take it more as a challenge and also a way to clear my mind from just thinking about tennis matches,” the Japanese star said.

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Osaka’s meteoric rise in the women’s game has also made her one of the most bankable athletes going around.

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She has cut endorsement deals with leading commercial brands and has offers from many more on the table.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

835 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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