Naomi Osaka’s Rapper Boyfriend Says Wasn’t Aware of Her Status in Tennis When They Started Dating

Published 02/20/2021, 11:50 PM EST
Tennis – Australian Open – Women’s Singles Final – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Japan’s Naomi Osaka celebrates with the trophy after winning her final match against Jennifer Brady of the U.S. REUTERS/Kelly Defina


Naomi Osaka’s rapper boyfriend YBN Cordae has revealed that he wasn’t aware of her status as one of the top stars in women’s tennis when they started dating.

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Currently the World Number 3, Osaka’s career has headed further north since she went public with her relationship with the American hip-hop star.

Naomi Osaka won her fourth Grand Slam at the Australian Open on Saturday

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The Japanese followed up her US Open title last year with her second Australian Open championship win on Saturday, becoming the first women’s star since Maria Sharapova to win four Grand Slam titles.

In an interview to GQ magazine, Cordae said he wasn’t a keen follower of the sport before he met Osaka and the only tennis superstars he was aware of and cared about then were Venus Williams and sister Serena as “they’re just a part of the culture”.

 

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One of her avowed admirers, Osaka beat the 39-year-old Serena for the second straight time in a Grand Slam at the semifinal at Melbourne Park.

Opening up on supporting her from the stands at the 2019 US Open, the rapper said he “felt really out of place” as it was the first time he was among people who didn’t look like him.

“My elementary school, middle school and high school was 99.9% Black. Kids who look like me. It just felt really weird for me being in that space. That was my first tennis match ever,” Cordae revealed.

Cordae cheered Naomi Osaka from the stands at 2019 US Open

Osaka, too, revealed that the pair, who were pictured enjoying a basketball game on their first date, have grown to feeling comfortable in each other’s spaces after having to make adjustments at the start.

Tennis – Australian Open – Women’s Singles Final – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Japan’s Naomi Osaka celebrates winning her final match against Jennifer Brady of the U.S. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

The Japanese star said she starts her day early and is mostly done by late afternoon, while for her bae, “everything starts at night”.

“So it was kind of hard to adjust to that in the beginning. But when I did, I felt pretty comfortable,” Osaka told the magazine.

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One of the cutest couples going around, they largely keep their public appearances low-key apart from being occasionally pictured by the paparazzi.

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It was a dominant run to the Australian Open title for Osaka this year as apart from her fourth-round duel with two-time Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza, she didn’t drop a single set in the entire tournament.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

992 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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