5 things we love about Naomi Osaka

Three-time Grand Slam singles champion and reigning US Open champion is all anyone can talk about right now. Not just for her athletic prowess but also her undeniable charm.

Born on 16 October 1997 in Chuo Ward, Osaka, Japan to Leonard Francois and Tamaki Osaka, Naomi has lived and trained in the United States since she was three years old.

Although she gained fame in the United States at the age of sixteen when she defeated former US Open champion Samantha Stosur in her WTA Tour debut at the 2014 Stanford Classic, Naomi gained global fame in 2018 when she defeated 23-time Grand Slam singles champion Serena Williams in the final of the US Open to become the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam singles title.

She has since been ranked the highest-earning female athlete of all-time by annual income in 2020. Despite all this, that's not even half the stuff we love about this global tennis superstar. Check out all the things we love about Naomi Osaka:

1. She understands and respects the power of the ancestors

People of colour all over the world have, for years, believed in the power of those that came before us. Naomi won even more people over when she gave a shout out to her ancestors after her most recent victory.

I would like to thank my ancestors because everytime I remember their blood runs through my veins I am reminded that I cannot lose.

— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) September 13, 2020

2. She is in touch with her heritage

Although she was born in Japan and raised in the US, Naomi was brought up in a household of Japanese and Haitian culture. This is something she has always been very proud of and has gone to great lengths to represent and honour all the sides of herself that make up who she is.

You already know I had to bring out the headwrap for this one ???? pic.twitter.com/YAlLk01hwm

— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) September 13, 2020

3. She is clear about what she stands for

Naomi has long been a very staunch supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement (among other movements and philanthropic causes). However, this season, she took things up a notch by not only sharing her thoughts and feelings on Twitter but by wearing the names of people who have been killed at the hands of police in the United States over the last decade or so.

I often wonder if what I'm doing is resonating and reaching as many people as I hope. That being said, I tried to hold it in on set but after watching these back I cried so much. The strength and the character both of these parents have is beyond me. Love you both, thank you ❤️ https://t.co/FSDLtWNJDr

— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) September 9, 2020


— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) September 9, 2020

I remember Trayvon's death clearly. I remember being a kid and just feeling scared.I know his death wasn't the first but for me it was the one that opened my eyes to what was going on. To see the same things happening over and over still is sad. Things have to change.

— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) September 7, 2020


— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) September 7, 2020

4. She allows herself to be seen having fun

People who take up such a prominent position in the public eye can often get caught up in the career that catapults them into the limelight.

As an effective role model for young professionals, it is important that Naomi is seen having fun and living a full life aside from her career. It not only reminds people that she's human, but it also reminds those that look up to her to live full and balanced lives of their own.

5. She can't be put in a box

As both a woman and an athlete, the media and the public may be tempted to categorise Naomi but that fact that she embodies so many things is great.

People need to feel seen in the media, and having Naomi identify with so many things allows more groups of people to feel represented – not just in the form of her ethnic background but through her love for fashion, her seemingly good relationship with food and her body, her activism as a young person of colour and a lover of sport and pop culture.

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READ NEXT: Osaka wins third major title, tells world she'll keep fighting for justice

(Compiled by Kaunda Selisho)

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