“Working to Ensure More Girls Stay”: Naomi Osaka Steps Into New Endeavors of Tennis

Published 12/24/2020, 4:14 AM EST
Naomi Osaka of Japan celebrates winning match point during her Women’s Singles final match against Victoria Azarenka of Belarus on Day Thirteen of the 2020 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 12, 2020 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)


Japan’s rising sensation Naomi Osaka has been amongst the rising stars in the women’s game. Her performances in the past couple of years have been exceptional. She’s won three grand slams in her career so far; two at the US Open and one at the Australian Open

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Osaka was first noticed during her final against Serena Williams. Reflecting back on that match, the odds seemed quite against the young Japanese. Serena was fuming at the chair umpire and the New York crowd was on the American’s side. These circumstances could’ve led to Naomi losing focus on such a grand stage. However, she held her nerve to win the match in straight sets that evening. 

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: Going to ensure more girls stay in the sport

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Recently, the Japanese involved herself in an association with Laureus, in creating the Play Academy. It is aimed to change the livelihood of young girls through games and sports. It is designed to provide equal opportunities for girls through the strength of sport. Osaka said, “I’m so proud that through Play Academy, we’re going to be working to ensure more girls stay in the sport, building confidence, self-esteem and leadership skills, giving them the support they need to succeed in other aspects of life.”

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The former world no. 1 was grateful to Laureus and the other partners for extending their support for this cause. This social cause taken up by Naomi couldn’t come at a better time, since most of the world is suffering from the effects of the pandemic. She further asserted:

“I’m so thankful to Laureus and its partner MUFG for supporting Play Academy. Together with Nike, Mastercard, and our other partners, we’ll be able to make a positive impact on young women and girls. Sport today is more important than ever for society, especially for girls growing up in marginalized communities.”

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In around two weeks’ time from now, players will board the flight to Melbourne for the first major of the coming season. Fans will look forward to seeing Osaka on the tennis courts at Melbourne Park. 

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Rohan Kollare

582 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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