Tennis superstar Naomi Osaka won her fourth Grand Slam singles title last night, beating American Jennifer Brady and cementing her place in the world of professional tennis. The 23-year-old has now won every Grand Slam final that she has ever played in.
This latest win comes after Osaka beat legendary player Serena Williams in the Australian Semifinals last Wednesday, in a high profile match that the entire tennis world was tuned into. The two players had versed each other three other times in the past. Most famously in 2018, when Osaka’s win over Williams resulted in a jeering crowd of Serena fans booing the young tennis player. As a result, Serena, who was Osaka’s idol growing up, decided to comfort the young star— taking to the mic to calm the booing crowd. However, with Osaka’s latest win over Williams, the tennis world has changed their tune. And fans are now speculating that Osaka is ushering in a brand new era of professional tennis as she continues to take the world by storm.
Naomi Osaka was born in Japan but moved to New York at a young age, according to Insider. Her father was an avid tennis fan who was transfixed by the Williams sisters. As a result, he was inspired to teach both Naomi and her sister, Mari, tennis from a young age. The Osaka family moved to Florida in 2006 so that Naomi and Mari could focus full time on tennis. Their relentless work paid off in 2013, when 15 year old Osaka turned pro.
Over the course of the next couple of years Osaka continued to cement a name for herself in the tennis world. And by 2016, Osaka qualified for her first Grand Slam draw at the Australian Open. Although spending most of her life in the US, the star continues to represent Japan on the court— and has quickly become a source of pride in her home country. While Osaka was a dual citizen of both America and Japan, she eventually gave up her American citizenship in order to represent Japan in the 2020 Olympics. Osaka continues to fire back at any critics who try to discredit her ethnicity— firing back on Tik-Tok and other platforms.
With her latest win, Osaka has now become the reigning champion at both the US Open and the Australian Open and has become ranked No. 1 by the Women’s Tennis Association. With four Grand Slam wins under her belt now, only two active tennis players have more titles than she has: Venus Williams with seven, and Serena Williams with 23. However, when asked about her long term goals, Osaka doesn’t seem too concerned with garnering titles. Instead, the rising star says that she wants to last long enough in tennis to one day play an opponent who she inspired to take up the sport, according to the New York Times. “Hopefully I play long enough to play a girl that said that I was once her favorite player or something,” she said, “For me, that’s the coolest thing that could ever happen to me.”