Naomi Osaka faced fierce competition and on her way to becoming the WTA’s number one ranked player. During June and August this year, she had a short slip down to the position of number two, but since she defeated the Coco Gauff, she was once again in her favourite place. Except for her brilliant skills on the court, the star’s personal life is also often hitting the headlines. She is considered to be the face of multiculturalism, but what more is there to this star’s own life?
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The 21-year old player’s cultural identity seems to be a constant reason for discussion. Osaka is the daughter of her Japanese mother Tamaki Osaka, and her father is a Leonard Francois is a citizen from Haiti. The couple met when her father visited Japan during his student years. She was born in Japan and is currently representing Japan when competing on an international level, but since she was three years old, she lived in Long Island in the United States. Thanks to this multicultural home which she grew up in, she is considered by many as the face of a multicultural future of the world.
Influence of the Williams Sisters
Naomi Osaka became the first singles champion to win a Grand Slam title for Japan. She was only 20 years old during the US Open in 2018 when she defeated Serena Williams for this title. Her victory was somewhat in the shadows of William’s outburst for which she was fined $17 000 during the match. Williams showed a strong reaction when she received a code violation, and her behaviour took the limelight to a certain degree away from the victory of the Japanese star.
Like the Williams sisters, Osaka is also being coached by her father. Francois stated that he found the inspiration to coach Osaka when he read that Richard Williams coached his daughters without ever playing much tennis himself. Francois decided to follow the approach which Williams had with his daughters and applied that to his own two girls since they were still very young. It was already during these early days of their tennis careers that the girl’s parents decided that if their daughter performs well in tennis, they will be representing Japan on an international level.
The Dilemma of Dual Citizenship
The tennis star is currently in possession of dual citizenship. This is another hot topic for many since Japanese law doesn’t allow citizens to have dual citizenship, and by law, Osaka is supposed to hand in one of her passports. The uncertainty remains, however, whether Japan would enforce this law or just let it pass since she is such a star. Others feel again that because she is a star, the government should implement this law. Nothing has been done, and she still has dual citizenship, living a life of true multiculturalism.