Naomi Osaka has become one name that rings a glorious bell in the world of tennis. Fans of the sport around the world have generally agreed that the woman behind that name is definitely one athlete that people will want to keep their eyes on in the years to come, especially considering her seemingly unbreakable form and stamina.
Having competed against some of the biggest names in the sport, Naomi Osaka stunned the world when she beat Serena Williams, one of the world’s most successful tennis players of all time, at the 2018 US Open to take home the Grand Slam title. It was an incredible feat which no one saw coming. The young tennis star has since gone on to win the women’s singles tournament at the 2019 Australian Open, a feat which saw her becoming the world’s No. 1 in the Women’s Tennis Association ranking.
Her victory over Serena Williams as well as her other victorious outings in other championships has put her name on many lips around the world. She instantly became a hero to many people, especially young kids dreaming of achieving greatness on the tennis court. Now fans have become curious to know much more about the family background of this glowing star who is ruling the world of tennis. Who are her parents and who are her other family members? Keep reading to learn all the answers.
Family Members: Parents, Sister, Father, Mother
Naomi Osaka was born on the 16th of October, 1997 in Chuo-ku, a town in Osaka, Japan. Naomi was born to a father identified as Leonard Francois and a mother called Tamaki Osaka. Although a Japanese woman, Naomi also has Haitian roots because while her mother is from Japan, her father is from Haiti. Naomi also has an older sister who is called Mari Osaka. Just like Naomi, Mari is also a professional tennis player.
Naomi’s father, Leonard, was a college graduate from New York, who had decided to relocate to Japan when he met her mother, Tamaki. At the time, Leonard had decided to live in Hokkaido, a city in Japan where Tamaki is from. It was in Hokkaido that the couple met and fell in love with each other. However, Tamaki could not tell her parents about her boyfriend because she suspected they would not approve of it considering he was a black man.
Eventually, when she was pressured about marriage by her parents, she eventually opened up and told them about Leonard. When they got to know that she was seeing Leonard secretly, Tamaki’s parents were very furious with her and vowed not to have anything to do with Leonard. In fact, they threatened to cut her off from the family. Not bothered about their threats, she continued her relationship with Leonard and the couple eventually gave birth to Mari and Naomi.
When Naomi turned 3 years old, her family decided to move from Japan and settle in Long Island, New York in the United States. It was while in New York that Naomi Osaka and her sister, Mari, began to learn how to play tennis.
Naomi’s father is credited with teaching his children how to play tennis. He got the idea to get his children involved in the sports when he watched the famous Williams sisters – Serena and Venus Williams – compete at the 1999 French Open. The Williams sisters, who were just 17 and 18 at the time, had teamed up to stun the world and win the doubles titles at the tournament. Their incredible feat amazed Leonard so much so that he vowed to get his own kids involved in tennis and that was exactly what he did.
Leonard learned that Serena and Venus’ father was the one who had taught them how to play the game so he decided to emulate the man and prod his children to excellence on the tennis court. Leonard started out by teaching Naomi and Mari how to play tennis on outdoor clay courts. His strategy was to teach them how to serve the ball big and then hit very hard from every corner of the court.
Naomi’s father was very determined to turn his daughters into tennis champions and so he adopted a very rigorous training plan for them. This plan included making the kids read instructional books on playing tennis as well as watching DVDs of stars playing tennis and learning from them. He was so rigorous that he reportedly made the girls hit thousands of balls every day as they practiced and got accustomed to playing. The plan worked because his daughters became very good at the sport and it was not long before they started displaying their incredible prowess, startling observers.
In 2006, her family decided to leave New York and move to Florida so that the kids would be able to have better opportunities to train and become champions. Soon, Naomi and Mari started to practice tennis on the Pembroke Pines public courts in Florida. In 2013, when Naomi was just 15 years old, she turned pro. The rest is history.
After she turned pro in 2013, Naomi progressed rapidly, participating and excelling in various tournaments including the French Open, Australian Open, the US Open, and Wimbledon. She has since gone on to make her parents very proud with her phenomenal achievements on the tennis court.
Naomi Osaka: Boyfriend
Naomi Osaka’s life is now very public considering the fact that she has become a global tennis icon. However, despite her fame, the one area of her life that is still hidden is her relationship. The tennis star has not said anything about whether or not she has a boyfriend and fans are very curious to know.
Fans were thrilled when she went on a date with Kei Nishikori, a fellow Japanese tennis player in May 2018, and posted a photo from the date on her Instagram page. Some people thought she had finally decided to reveal her boyfriend. However, she later revealed they were just friends.
For now, there is no record to prove that Naomi Osaka is dating anyone. However, it has been revealed that she has a crush on Michael B. Jordan, an American actor.