After 2 back to back Grand Slam wins (US Open in 2018 and Australian Open in 2019), Naomi Osaka became a huge star in Japan as well as the world over. She amassed plenty of prize money but even bigger was her endorsement deals which included some of the major companies like Nippon Airways and Nissan. The fact that she is the first tennis player, male or female from Japan to win a Grand Slam tournament, has given her great popularity in her native country.
But this success did not come overnight for Osaka. She and her family struggled to bring her to this stage. Born from a Haitian father and Japanese mother, her parents have done all the hard work and sacrifices to make her a champion player she is today. Owing to her struggles, she knows the value of money. The struggles have taught her to be a moderate person though she is one of the richest athletes in the world now. She says:
“When I was younger I used to want a lot of expensive stuff, but now I’m just happy if I have basic things.”
Who is Naomi Osaka’s mother Tamaki?
Naomi Osaka’s mother Tamaki has sacrificed a lot, she used to get up in the morning as early as 4 AM to help her daughter get the required funds for her tennis career. As Osaka’s father was busy coaching her, it was Tamaki who was responsible for funding the tennis career of Naomi. She says:
“My mum sacrificed a lot. We would go to tournaments and she would stay at home and work because someone had to pay for the flights and stuff. I’m very grateful for everything she’s done and I can only hope that what I’m doing now can repay her in some way.”
Who is Naomi Osaka’s father Leonard François
Osaka’s father, Leonard Francois has been crucial in making Osaka a champion player she is today. He started her tennis coaching at a very young age and continued it till some time ago. Naomi says that his father gets very anxious during matches. She says: “I think he might take long walks because maybe my matches stress him out.”
She added: “When I was growing up my mum always worked, my mother was working a lot because my dad was always with us. He was the one who was our coach.”
Naomi wants to give back to her parents for all the sacrifices that they have done to make her a champion player she is today. Naomi wants to buy her parents a new house.
Naomi Osaka’s sister Mari
Osaka is very close to her sister who is also a tennis player but not as successful as Naomi. She says about her sister: “When I was practising with my dad, I don’t think I would have made it if my sister wasn’t there.”