Remember the name, Naomi Osaka (Japanese: 大坂 なおみ). Naomi who turns 18 in October, 2015, is an up and coming Haitian-Japanese tennis player. She was born in Osaka, Tokyo to a Haitian father and Japanese mother. At her young age, she has been surprising many in the tennis world and has beat some of the top ranked women’s tennis players and has already finished 2nd in 4 professional tournaments.
Naomi turned pro in 2012 at the age of 15 and so far has reached a world single women’s ranking of 92nd in April 2016. Naomi made her Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) debut at the 2014 Bank of the West Classic which was held in Stanford, CA. After beating top players from Russia (ranked #56 in the world) and Croatia (ranked #42 in the world), Naomi was pitted against 2011 US Open champion Samantha Stosur, who was previously ranked #4 in the world.
Naomi came from a set down to defeat the Australian in a match lasting two-and-a-half hours. It was Osaka’s biggest win at the WTA level. She went on to make the top 16 of the tournament before losing to Andrea Petkovic, German, previously ranked #9 in the world. Tennis great, Serena Williams, went on to win the Bank of the West Classic, but Naomi’s performance impressed many in the tennis world.
So far Naomi has finished 2nd at professional tournaments in El Paso, Texas (2013), Irapuato, Mexico (2014), Gifu, Japan (2015), and Surbiton, UK (2015). Naomi is also continuing to beat professional women tennis players ranked much higher than her. She has proven that she has the raw talent and as she matures and gets stronger, look for her to be one of top women professional tennis players in the world. Keep an eye out for Naomi Osaka!