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  • Writer's pictureAkiko Murakami

Naomi Osaka, a new star of the world of tennis.

This is a historical moment that Naomi Osaka spoke to the press after winning the US Open on Sept. 9, 2018. This marked the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam title.

Until this happened, almost no Japanese knew about her. But now, she has become a national heroine. Personally, I am not a big fan of tennis, but after I saw all what she went through during her amazingly challenging final match and the interview after the victory, I became a fan of Naomi. She has become a champion, but her character just does not seem to create any enemies or battle against anything. Her pure, natural, neutral, stable, less-talking and fearless presence even reminded me of Zen masters.

She overcame her fear against the realty of facing Serena Williams the world champion, and the fact that most of the 2,3000 audience were there to see Serena's another victory. That's not an easy thing at all!

I am happy that she is playing for Japan, representing Japan.

However, I think her charms can attract many people from very different backgrounds, as well. She is too unique to be an ordinary "Japanese".

She is a strong, multi-cultured, talented, positive-thinking, hopeful, shy, game-loving, tennis player!

Due to her uniqueness, anyone can be a fan of Naomi.

Interestingly, the above article's subtitle is "Naomi Osaka’s victory at the US Open is a lesson in positive psychology".

Naomi is just 20 year old and she has been a big fan of Serena. And one of her dream was to play against each other at the final match.

Click to see the news about her victory:


<Little about Naomi....>

Naomi's mother is a Japanese, and father (Leonard Maxime Francois ) is originally from Haiti.

Although born in Osaka, Japan, she has lived in the U.S. since she was 3.

She grew up in New York until 8 or 9 and then moved to Florida.

So, she has dual citizenship.

Naomi's sister Mari is also a professional tennis player. Both of them were raised by home schooling, and started practicing tennis at their

Her father chose i to play representing Japan, not U.S. when she turned to pro in 2013, thinking that that will give her a good opportunity.

Though she was primarily raised in the States, she represents Japan — a decision made by her father when his daughter turned pro in 2013.

Naomi’s dual citizenship meant that she had a choice between playing for either country but her father, Francois chose Japan, thinking it would open up more opportunities for her.


Her victory was a Big news, and gave positive impact on the Japanese people due to the critical timing, as well.

On 4th of September, a large Kansai area (Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe, Nara) got a huge damage by a historical large typhoon. Even Kansai international airport was unable to function for weeks since then.

Following that disaster, some cities in the northern island of Hokkaido was hit by a dreadful earthquake as strong as magnitude 6.7. , which caused many people to lose their houses and move to shelter. Even Naomi's grandfather in Hokkaido were suffering from food shortage and no supply of water and power.


I really hope Naomi keeps inspiring the young tennis players, and is going to play well in the Tokyo Olympics!


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