7 Things To Know About Naomi Osaka, Winner Of The 2018 U.S. Open
She is only 20 years old and has a Grand Slam title.
On Saturday, Naomi Osaka became the first Japanese player to take home the top prize at the 2018 U.S. Open.
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While controversy unfortunately dominated most of the discussions surrounding her victory, she came out victorious against tennis great Serena Williams. Williams, who called out the umpire for sexism during the match, was forced to tell fans to stop booing once Osaka had been named the winner. Osaka, who was overcome with emotion, later explained why she cried during the trophy ceremony and what it was like to play against her idol.
Through it all, the 20-year-old tennis star has made a name for herself after Saturday night's victory and deserves the proper praise and recognition. Here are seven things you should know about the rising player:
She's proud of her Haitian and Japanese heritage.
Born October 16, 1997, her father, Leonard "San" François, was born in Haiti and studied at New York University before moving to Japan. This is where he met her mother Tamaki Osaka, according to the New York Times.
“I can understand way more Japanese than I can speak,” Osaka said in an interview with USA TODAY. “And when I go to Japan people are confused. From my name, they don’t expect to see a black girl.”
She's a dual citizen.
To be a citizen of Japan, she had to take her mother's maiden name, Osaka. She moved to the U.S. at three years old and soon took an interest in tennis while living in Florida.
Her sister plays tennis, too.
Naomi's older sister, Mari, is also a tennis player. They have played together in the past in doubles tennis matches.
She represented Japan as early as 13 years old.
There have been reports stating she and her sister were rejected by the United States Tennis Association when they were starting out. Osaka's father decided to sign both siblings with Japan's tennis association. She began to represent Japan at the tender age of 13.
She delivers some of the fastest serves ever.
At the 2016 U.S. Open, her serve was clocked in at 125 mph. Only eight other women achieve a speed that great.
She continues to make history.
In March, she made history becoming the first Japanese woman to win the Indian Wells Masters. Tennis experts consider this tournament to be the second most significant after the Grand Slam.
She is expected to be a top 10 world player.
After her victory, experts have predicted the 20-year-old will be the 7th best player in the world which is the highest rank of her career.
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Naomi Osaka Explains Why She Cried During The U.S. Open Trophy Ceremony