A Biography of Naomi Osaka


Photo credit: Naomiosaka.com

Charisma Brown, OwlFeed Sports Reporter

The literal pioneer of female athletes, Naomi Osaka is the highest-paid tennis player while her skill arguably may or may not rival that of Serena Williams. She has the speed, technique, strength, and flexibility that it takes to be the best at what she does.

Naomi Osaka was born in Chuo Ward, Osaka, Japan on October 16, 1997. She migrated to the United States with her parents, Tamaki Osaka and Leonard François, and her older sister, Mari Osaka, when she was 3 years old to live with her grandparents.

Her father was born in Jacmel, Haiti, and her mother is from Hokkaido, Japan. Her mother met her father as a college student in New York.

Osaka started playing tennis when her father was given the idea to teach his daughters by watching the Williams sisters compete in the 1999 French Open.

At 6 years old, her family moved once again to Florida where she and her sister practiced tennis in the daytime and were homeschooled at night. Beating her sister Mari in a match was the number one priority. Once during an interview with CNN, she told them, “It took 12 years to beat her.”

Growing up, Osaka went to many different schools. At 15 years old, she began working with Patrick Tauma from ISP Academy. Harold Solomon Tennis Academy was her next school in 2014. After this, she then trained at ProWorld Tennis Academy.

Because the interest in Naomi from USTA (United States Tennis Association) was very low, her parents decided at a young age that when she plays tennis, she will represent Japan because she was born in Osaka and grew up with a Haitian/Japanese lifestyle.

In 2013, Osaka became a professional tennis player shortly before turning 16. A few years later, she was elected by the Women’s Tennis Association “Newcomer of the Year.” However, this isn’t her only award.

She has plenty of awards like “Best Female Tennis Player ESPY Award,” “BET Award for Best Sportsman of the Year,” and along with the “Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year,” and plenty more.

Osaka has won the Grand Slam four times, with plenty of awards that she has received and plenty more to come, although she is taking a break.

“I feel like for me, recently, like when I win, I don’t feel happy. I feel more like a relief. And then when I lose, I feel very sad,” she said in an interview after a match. 

She announced her break after losing to 18-year-old Leylah Fernandez in the US Open on September 3, 2021.

She says she’s taking a break due to mental health issues.

Naomi does indeed have a life outside of tennis just like every other athlete too. Naomi Osaka is in an intimate relationship with rapper YBN Cordae. They have been together for about two years.

Cordae said, “That’s my girl,” back in 2019 during an interview with Hot 97.

“To be honest, [we’ve been dating for] a little while, but we just kept it hidden for a while, kept it quiet,” he said. “I don’t really like to go public with my personal life, but if you just ask me [whether she’s my girlfriend], it’d be disrespectful to her if I said ‘Nah,’ at this point.”

With the star player taking a break from tennis, fans are sure her comeback will be greater than ever.