It’s Famous Friday!

Naomi Osaka


Naomi is bringing more diversity to tennis with her heritage. Osaka recently won her first pro
tennis title. She is a 20 year old Haitian-American-Japanese professional tennis player. Naomi
was born in Osaka, Tokyo. Her father is Haitian and her mother is Japanese. Her parents and
older sister are tennis players too. Naomi and her sister have played together in doubles tennis.
Osaka has been living in the United States since she moved to Florida at the age of three. She
has dual Japanese and American citizenship. Her father registered her with the Japan Tennis
Association at the beginning of her career. She was asked why she chose to represent Japan.
She stated “I feel more, like, I grew up with Japanese culture, and I feel a little bit more, like,
that’s how my personality is. I feel comfortable when I go to Tokyo, too.” Osaka told USA Today
“I can understand way more Japanese than I can speak, and when I go to Japan people are
confused, from my name, they don’t expect to see a black girl.” On March 18, 2018 she
defeated Daria Kasatkina, of Russia which moved her singles ranking to #22 in the world and
she left with a $1.3 million check, which almost doubled her career earnings. Naomi said after
she won “ I feel like I just started winning, It’s a new feeling for me to be this consistent, so I’m
just trying to be happy about that.” I am sure this is the beginning of a very long tennis career for
Naomi Osaka.
Makensie Shay McDaniel
Project RACE Teens President

Pic Credit: wtatennis.com

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