Naomi Osaka: The Haitian-Japanese Tennis Legend

The Life of Naomi Osaka

Naomi Osaka’s Personal Life, Family, and Education

There are not many bi-racial celebrities from Japan, and Naomi Osaka is sure to be one that the Japanese people are sure to be proud of. Hailing from a Haitian father and a Japanese mother, they have been living in the US since she was three.

By Tatiana from Moscow, Russia (Naomi Osaka) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Naomi Osaka was born in Osaka, Japan on October 16, 1997. However, the decision of the family moving to the United States is influenced primarily by their desire to be much closer to her father’s family. She has a sister named Mari Osaka who, like her, is a professional tennis player. They have played doubles in multiple matches and have been closely compared to tennis star sisters Serena and Venus Williams. They have incredible talent and many experts are sure that the two will become very popular in the coming years.

What is interesting is the fact that Naomi Osaka’s father is named Leonard Francois. And people are wondering why her last name is Osaka. Some accounts show that her parents did not marry and both children chose to use their Japanese surname. Sadly, there are no clear explanations for this other than the fact that she and her sister use this surname.

Early Education and Career

Being born in Japan but grew up in the US. Osaka gained a dual citizenship for this. She spoke little of the language but they braved the journey to Japan in hopes of a future in the profession. She attended Elmont Alden Terrace Primary School and also attended Broward Virtual Middle and High School. She joined ProWorld Tennis Academy as a young girl and this was where she got most of her training.

Based on a number of interviews, Naomi had indicated that her passion for tennis started out when she watched her older sister (Mari) play tennis when they were younger. She then wanted to learn and their father, who then became their coach for a long time, allowed her to take lessons. The sisters often played against each other for fun and as a means of gauging which between them is better. A healthy competition that surely showed beneficial for both. What she and her sister were most proud of is the fact that they have been training well and hard since they were young girls. Even though they started out learning tennis as a hobby, they, later on, realized that they could take their passion to an entirely different level. Now, all their hard work are finally paying off.

Naomi Osaka the Rising Tennis Star

When the sisters were a bit older and were legible enough to join junior leagues, their father accompanied them to Japan to talk to some coaches form professional Japanese Tennis Associations. Sadly, it was not an easy feat for the sisters as it was not common to see a biracial celebrity in Japan. However, their talents have proven much more worthy than their race and eventually, the Japanese people learned to love them and their talents.

By Carine06 from UK (Naomi Osaka) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Noami Osaka became an officially registered, professional tennis player in 2013 at the young age of 16. She played for the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) in 2014. Later that year she was able to defeat the 2011 US Open Champion Samantha Stosur. This was her first major breakthrough in the industry, just a few months after turning professional.

General Statistics and Profile

General Career Record and Ranking

Since turning professional in 2013, she has a standing record of 153 to 105 win to loss ratio for the singles division. This is incredible stats for her short-term stay in the professional industry. Her only title win was when she won against Stosur in 2014, and experts believe that she will be out there in the coming years to earn more. She is currently ranked 21 in the World’s Best Tennis Players as of May 2018.

Naomi Osaka’s Coach

During her early career, Naomi Osaka was coached by their father Leonard. But after seeing that she and her sister has incredible talent, they decided to go to Japan for formal training and coaching. She was first coached by Patrick Tauma, a Japanese coach from the Japanese Tennis Association. In 2014, she was coached by Harold Solomon who was a hall-of-famer and international tennis player from the 1970s and 1980s. In 2016, her coach became David Taylor. He is an Australian coach who made Naomi Osaka’s debut to the Australian open a sure shot. He was also the coach of Sam Stosur.

By Peter Menzel (Naomi Osaka) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Early this year, Naomi Osaka has decided to go in a different direction by signing a coaching deal with Sascha Bajin. He is the famed sparring partner of Serena Williams, Caroline Wozniacki, and Victoria Azarenka. Their goal is to put Naomi’s name on the top ten list in the near future.

Height, equipment and Playing the hand

The young 20-year-old currently stands at a height of 5 ft 11 inches, an incredible height for a young player. She has been described to be quick, focused, yet aggressive on the courts. Many experts actually see a great future in her, and with her new coach now, a future Serena Williams perhaps?

She is great with her serves which can go an incredible speed of 125 miles per hour. She can also control the speed and pace of her serves, an incredible feat for a young tennis player. She is great on the offensive and can surely hit winning shots on either side or wing. A right-handed player, she is often seen sporting an EZone 98 racquet from Yonex.

Naomi Osaka Number of Titles

Out of all the games that she played, Osaka has won only one title. However, despite not having any titles, she is known for her quick rise to fame. She started to become a professional in 2013 and has since impressed not only the fans but critics worldwide. In less than 5 years, she has played a total of 258 games, out of which she has a winning average of 59%.

On the other hand, she still needs to improve her game for the doubles division as she currently ranks 906 in April of this year. She dropped a total of 582 spots after ranking no. 324 just last year. This is an aspect of her career that she needs to train on but with her young age and freshness in the industry, she is sure to surprise fans and critics once again in the future.

Naomi Osaka Networth

With just five years in the professional limelight, Naomi Osaka is just making a name for herself against popular tennis players like Roger Federer, Andy Murray, and Serena Williams. This is why she has yet to sign advertisement deals and wishes to focus on training for her matches. Regardless, she still earns 2 Million dollars as prize money to date. This is an impressive amount for less than a decade in the industry.

Naomi Osaka and her Tournaments

  • Australian Open – Osaka played for the Australian open since 2016 and has since been reaching incredible levels year on year. For 2018 she reached the 4th round and is expected to reach the quarterfinals or the semifinals in the next season.
  •  French Open – She started playing the French Open in 2016 and just like the Australian open is yet to become a quarterfinalist. Her new coach has set impressive goals for her so far and her training is underway to reach this.
  • Wimbledon – The first time she played Wimbledon she was only able to reach the qualification round but her second time in 2017, she was able to reach the 3rd round.
  •  US Open – She has been playing for the US open since 2015 but there are no results yet for the year 2018. Her fans have high hopes for her for the coming season.
  • WTA Finals – It was in the 2015 WTA Finals that she won her first title. She won against Caroline Garcia of France.
  • WTA 125 Series – She joined the WTA 125 series in 2015 and was a runner-up against Yaroslava Shvedova.
  •  ITF Finals – She has been joining the ITF Finals since 2013 but has yet to win a title.

 Naomi Osaka’s famous interviews

Naomi Osaka Speaking Japanese

As an aspiring professional athlete, Naomi Osaka was not used to having fans. Many people have commented on how sweet and thoughtful she is outside of the court. She is the new tennis darling set to follow the footsteps of Serena Williams. Growing up in Japan, she never really learned to speak the language. However, she does claim that she could understand it pretty well. As she represents Japan in the future, she does plan to learn the language to get a better connection with the locals and gain their support.

By Peter Menzel (Naomi Osaka) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Most Famous Rivalries

Maria Sharapova

She is probably one of the most popular women’s tennis players in the world. Born in Russia, she has been competing professionally for the WTA since 2001. She currently holds 36 WTA titles and 4 International Tennis Federation (ITF) titles. She is also an Olympic medallist for winning a silver medal for Russia in the 2012 Summer Olympics. She became the number one tennis player in the world in 2005, at the young age of 18.

Sharapova and Osaka have played only once in the 2018 Indian Wells games. The winning favor goes to Osaka, with a 6-4 set score. This was the first time that they met and it was also the first time that Osaka won against her.

Serena Williams

Also ranked number one tennis player in the world, Serena Williams is an American tennis player who has been professionally competing since 1995. She currently holds 72 WTA titles and an impressive winning average of 85%. She has a winning ratio of 785 to 132 games in her entire career. She is known for her great talents and is one of the most influential women players in the world.

Williams and Osaka had a single match in the 2018 Miami open. The winning favor goes to Osaka as well. For this game, Williams has commented that she saw a very aggressive player with a long future ahead. She commended Osaka for her great style of play.

Victoria Azarenka

Also one of the most impressive women players in the world, Azarenka has been in the professional industry since 2003. She currently holds 20 WTA titles and 1 ITF title. She ranked no. 1 in 2012 and has since been one of the most influential players of all time. She also holds an Olympic bronze medal for the 2012 Summer Olympics. She has a general winning average of 73% with a win to loss ratio of 472 to 170. The two superstar players met only twice so far, with one win for each player. They met in the 2018 Rome Open.

Venus Williams

The famous sister of Serena Williams, Venus Williams also held the rank for the number one tennis player in the world in 2002. She has a winning average of 77% with a win to loss ratio of 784 to 226. She currently holds 49 WTA titles. She is the first African American Woman to reach number one in what experts call as the Open Era. She has seven Grand Slam Titles to her name which everyone admits is an impressive record. Williams and Osaka met twice on the field with a 1 to 1 win.

Caroline Wozniacki

A Swedish professional tennis player, Caroline Wozniacki is one of the youngest professional players in the world who holds a number one ranking. She has 28 WTA titles to her name and 4 ITF titles as well. She has a winning average of 71% with a win to loss ratio of 588 to 236 since turning professional in 2005. She and Osaka met in the field for two rounds but the latter never won from her. Their latest meeting was the 2017 Eastbourne Open.