Tennis superstar Naomi Osaka has once again shocked the masses to sustain her status as a young tennis champion who continues to break barriers for young Black girls around the world.
All of her sports achievements and demonstrated poise under pressure is proof of Black excellence, and she remains an admirable figure of determination to the world.
Over the weekend, Osaka proved herself victorious in the 2020 U.S. Open claiming her second overall win and third Grand Slam title, all while rallying for racial injustice and representing victims of police violence.
Naomi Osaka brought seven face masks to the US Open.
Each mask highlights a different Black victim of racial injustice and police brutality.
– Breonna Taylor
– Elijah McClain
– Ahmaud Arbery
– Trayvon Martin
– George Floyd
– Philando Castile
Today: Tamir Rice
— Andscape (@andscape) September 12, 2020
Beyond Black women in professional sports, Osaka has managed to defy the odds throughout her career and prove her unique abilities cannot be boxed in.
The young tennis champ has the whole world buzzing about her many accomplishments at only 22-years-old, but there are still a few things her fans need to know about her:
Before winning the Grand Slam, she was a teenage sports star.
The world became familiar with Naomi Osaka after she defeated Serena Williams at the 2018 U.S. Open final, but her rise to fame started back before then. The then 16-year-old tennis player became a standout after competing at the Bank of the West Classic in 2014.
According to Sports Illustrated, a teenage Osaka earned a spot in the qualifying tournament as an alternate and advanced to get her first WTA main draw. She went on to secure her first tour-level win after beating 2011 U.S. Open champion Sam Stosur in the first round.
She became the world’s No. 1 in multiple categories at last year’s Grand Slam.
At the 2019 Australian Open, Osaka was one of 11 players that made it to the finals. After beating Petra Kvitová, she earned her second back-to-back grand slam title, according to The Guardian. Thus, making her not only the world’s new No. 1 but the first woman to win consecutive Grand Slam singles since Serena Williams in 2015 and the first Asian player ranked No. 1 in the world in singles.
She’s building an expansive endorsement and investment portfolio.
Osaka has proved that she has skills on and off the tennis court by venturing into several different business ventures that include investments and endorsement deals with 15 different brands such as Nissan Motor, Shiseido, MUSIK, and more, Forbes reports.
As the highest-paid female athlete in the world, Osaka has made it her business to lock in partnerships to sustain her millionaire status, including becoming an investor in a premium sake brand.
Her sister is also a professional tennis player.
Naomi isn’t the only professional tennis player in her family — her older sister Mari Osaka is currently ranked #350 by the Women’s Tennis Association. While they’ve both drawn comparisons to the likes of Venus and Serena Williams, the two sisters are setting out to define their own paths as individuals.
Although they don’t get to play against each other often, the Osaka sisters have had a chance to collaborate recently to make charity face masks — which was featured by Vogue, back in July.
Serena Williams is her idol.
While many people tried to pit Osaka and Serena Williams against each other during their 2018 matchup in the U.S. Open, Osaka ultimately was overjoyed to share such a pivotal career moment with her childhood idol. She recalled her thoughts as a kid to USA Today saying “I want to be like her,” not knowing she would grow up to be in her idol’s shoes one day.
Osaka’s win was almost spoiled by the crowd of boos that ensued following her victory from fans who were upset with how the game was officiated. However, it was Williams who stepped in to switch from competitor to nurturer to comfort a weeping Osaka saying to her “Congratulations Naomi…no more booing.”
From boos to cheers. An emotional and powerful moment for Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams at the US Open podium. (🔊⬆️) pic.twitter.com/oTg6SORjXe
— ESPN (@espn) September 8, 2018