“Feel More Like a Global Citizen”: Naomi Osaka Reveals the Benefits of Moving to the United States

Published 04/22/2021, 8:44 AM EDT
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Japan’s Naomi Osaka in action during her semi final match against Serena Williams of the U.S. REUTERS/Kelly Defina


Japanese tennis superstar Naomi Osaka has opened up on how moving to the United States opened up new doors for her. In an interview with frontofficesports, the current women’s World No.2 said she has been able to leverage her brand value and sew up lucrative deals with some leading names in commercial space ever since she took up residence in the US.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Osaka said she was more of a known face in Japan in the initial years of her career, and her commercial pursuits were mostly concentrated in the Orient at the time.

However, as she continued to rise up women’s tennis charts by winning titles and stamping her credentials, especially on hard courts, the Japanese became a global icon and came to attract brands and sponsors from across the world.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Her second Australian Open title this year not only took her career tally of Grand Slam championship trophies to four, making her only the second woman since former Russian star Maria Sharapova to win as many Major titles, but also sent her brand value soaring even further.

Naomi Osaka says at the start of her career, she was more popular in Japan and most of her business were concentrated there

“At the start of my career, I was definitely more recognizable in Japan and therefore, the bulk of my business was there,” Osaka said.

However, as she became a globally recognized and renowned tennis star and found a firm commercial footing in the US, she has been able to develop deeper and more symbiotic ties with her brands and business partners.

“More recently I think I have built solid relationships with (the) US and the global brands that I truly believe in,” the World No.2 said.

Mar 31, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Naomi Osaka of Japan hits a forehand against Maria Sakkari of Greece (not pictured) in a women’s singles quarterfinal in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

She added that her rising fame and deeper commercial involvement in America has also helped her come out as a “global citizen”.

“So yes, it has afforded me some advantages, but at this point I feel more like a global citizen than someone who is only one thing or another,” Osaka said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

After her glorious campaign at the Australian Open, which saw her trump childhood idol Serena Williams in the semifinals, the Japanese took a break from tennis before returning to Tour action at the Miami Open.

DIVE DEEPER

WATCH: Naomi Osaka Sharpening Her Skills Ahead of the Clay Court Season

22 days ago

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

However, Osaka crashed out in the last-eight stage after losing in straight sets to Greek star Maria Sakkari.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Priyabrata Chowdhury

842 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT