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Fierce, determined, and humble, Naomi Osaka is no doubt an inspiration for many young girls throughout the world.
“If you want to make a difference, then just have the conviction up your sleeves, rest will follow suit. ”
Being an ardent lover of tennis, I have followed this year’s US Open from the very beginning. A lady who has taken us all by surprise is none other than the winner herself, Naomi Osaka.
For the uninitiated, Naomi Osaka has not only proved her tennis skills by lifting the trophy for the second time in three years but her fight for justice too can’t be ignored.
With three Grand Slam titles to her credit, Naomi has indeed made a special place for herself in women’s tennis and there are some additional things that sets her apart from the rest.
Inspired by the Williams sisters’ story, Naomi’s father made it a point to train his two girls under his own guidance. Though her father himself didn’t have much idea about tennis coaching, he made it a point to do it no matter what.
His dogged determination and will power coupled with these young girls’ hard work did wonders as the two sisters showed tremendous potential in the said sport from a very young age.
Naomi was born to a Japanese Mother and a Haitian Father. She was raised in the United States since she was three years old.
Though she had the option of representing the US, she went ahead with her parents’ decision of representing Japan and never looked back.
She had always felt close to her Japanese roots and that seemed to have been the main motivating factor behind this decision.
It would definitely have been a tough decision to make, but Naomi Osaka decided to give up on her US citizenship so that she could represent Japan in the Tokyo Olympics.
Adhering to Japan’s Nationality Act, she had to make this decision before the age of 22 and she did it with pride.
For any other person it would have been a difficult choice but Naomi did it without the slightest hesitation which is commendable in itself.
From the very beginning, Naomi’s confidence was visible when she carried seven different masks to US open 2020, each featuring the name of an African American victim killed by the police in the United States.
While all her contemporaries focused on the game, Naomi had her eyes set on two things: one on the court and the other to play her part in fighting for justice for the innocent victims of police brutality.
It was the second thought that forced heads to turn and make note of her act, thereby leading the tournament to pause play for a day as a symbol of solidarity against racial inequality. Many of the victims family members praised Naomi for her spirit and action.
Naomi Osaka’s humility and sportsmanship was visible when she consoled a teary eyed Coco Gauff, who lost to her in the third round of the US Open in 2019.
Without the slightest hesitation she asked Gauff to be a part of the post match on-court interview, which is supposed to be done only by the winning player.
That for sure was a new thing witnessed by the crowd present in the court. They couldn’t believe what they saw.
This no doubt speaks volumes about the sportsmanship spirit that this amazing woman carries with her.
Featured Image Credit: US Tennis Open Championships
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