Naomi Osaka

Naomi Osaka was born in Japan, and grew up in New York with a Haitian father and Japanese mother. She was inspired to play tennis after watching the Williams sisters, and started playing tennis at a young age. She won her first tour match at 16, and won her first major at 21. Currently, at 23, she is the number 1 player in the world, with 4 major championships. 

Osaka has also had a lot of struggles with mental health during her young career. Early in her career, she was often shy, giving short answers and not really opening up to anyone, even her coaches. This shyness is actually deeper than that. This year, Osaka withdrew from the French Open, and opened up about her anxiety. She talked about how being an athlete and all the burdens and pressures that come along with it, including talking to the media, had taken a big toll on her. During this time, she said she was depressed, but felt like the she couldn’t really do anything about it.

Recently, Osaka has been doing better. She lit the torch at the Tokyo Olympics, and has been competing in more events. She has also worked with her foundation to help young girls across the world, and additionally has been more open about mental health, and a role model to women and women of color all over. 

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