Tennis runs in the Osaka family
Could we have two Osaka’s soaring up the tennis rankings?
Mari is the older sister of Naomi and is also a professional tennis player.
The 21-year-old is currently ranked at No.301 in the world and the duo have occasionally team up in doubles on the Tour.
A fascinating family heritage
Naomi is proud of her roots.
The world No.22’s father is from Haiti and her mother is from Japan.
The Indian Wells champion herself was aptly born in Osaka, Japan, but moved to the USA at the age of three.
From there she grew up in Florida, encapsulated in the local tennis scene. Osaka still remains a Florida resident and trains there when not travelling the globe on Tour.
“I can understand way more Japanese than I can speak,” stated Osaka, who plays under the Japanese flag. Sadly for their local press, Naomi’s sense of humour doesn’t translate… just yet!
Osaka thinks of Serena’s tactics during matches
It’s not too surprising, but like a host of tennis protégés, Serena Williams is Osaka’s idol.
“If I was watching, I’d be cheering for Serena…I just wanted her to know who I am at the end of the match,” admitted the 20-year-old having prevailed past her favourite player in a memorable Miami victory.
What is pretty astonishing is this revelation: "Sometimes when I'm in a really hard position when I'm serving, I'm like 'what would Serena do?...' but I was playing her."
That visualisation clearly worked on the Sunshine Swing.