Naomi Osaka

Naomi Osaka was born on October 16, 1997 in Osaka, Japan. Her father is Haitian and her mother is Japanese. Naomi has lived and trained in the United States since she was 3 years old. Her family moved to Long Island, NY and her father began teaching his daughters (Mari as well as Naomi) after seeing the Williams sisters compete at the 1999 French Open. In hopes of getting them more training time, the family moved to Florida where the Osaka sisters trained in Pembroke Pines.

Through the end of 2015, Naomi was ranked 144th in the world and had been slowly inching her way through the ranks. In 2016, she really took a big step forward as she would break into the top 50 of the Women’s Tennis Associate and would win the WTA Newcomer of the Year. She would take a step back in 2017 as she fell to 68th in the world but did defeat #5, Venus Williams, in her last tournament of the year at the Hong Kong Open.

In 2018, after hiring Sascha Bajin as her coach, Naomi took off. She would beat several top 20 players and at a major championship at the Indian Wells Open, would catapult to #22 overall. With her high level of play, Osaka would eventually get to the #4 overall player in the world. 2019 brought even more success as she became the first Asian player ever to be ranked #1 in the world in singles. At just 23 years old, Osaka has a long and seemingly illustrious career ahead of her. Osaka is currently ranked #2 in the world.

By STEVE FARACE | @CineSportsTalk