Naomi Osaka defeated her hero to win the U.S. Open on Saturday, the first major title of the 20-year-old’s career. But her 6-2, 6-4 win over Serena Williams was not the fairy-tale moment anyone expected.
In one of the most controversial Grand Slam finals in recent years, Williams, attempting to tie the record with her 24th major title, was levied a game penalty late in the second set during a stunning display of outrage directed at the match’s umpire.
Emotion first bubbled up at 1-1 in the second set, when Williams exchanged words with chair umpire Carlos Ramos. Ramos had assessed Williams a coaching violation after her longtime coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, motioned from the player’s box that Williams should go to the net more. Williams, 36, disputed the violation and then told Ramos that she is not a cheater.
Osaka’s family (Japanese Mom and Hawaiian father) relocated to the United States when she was three years old, eventually settling in Long Island, New York and later in Florida. She and her older sister Mari took up tennis at a young age, training at the ProWorld Tennis Academy in Delray, Florida.
Despite holding both U.S. and Japanese citizenship, her father decided to register her with the Japanese Tennis Association as she started her career. Osaka turned professional in September 2013 and later made her main-draw WTA debut at the 2014 Bank of the West Classic in San Jose, California.
In the 2015 WTA Finals, Osaka defeated Caroline Garcia to win the Rising Stars International exhibition tournament. She later made her Grand Slam debut at the 2016 Australian Open and reached the third round of the 2016 French Open.
At the 2017 Wimbledon Championships, Osaka beat Sara Sorribes Tormo and Barbora Strýcová before falling to Venus Williams in the third round. She also put on a strong showing at the 2017 US Open, defeating defending champion Angelique Kerber and Denisa Albertova before eventually falling to Kaia Kanepi.
2018 proved to be a breakout year for the rising star, as her world tennis ranking rose from 68 to start the year at a career high 17th in the world on July 23, putting on strong showings at Wimbledon, the Australian Open and the French Open while also knocking off former number one tennis player in the world Maria Sharapova in the first round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California.
Despite suffering a series of disappointing showings at the Citi Open, Rogers Cup and Western & Southern Open, Osaka stormed back at the 2018 US Open, defeating Madison Keys in the semifinals in dominant fashion to set up a match against her childhood idol Serena Williams in the upcoming Women’s Singles Final match.
How old is Naomi Osaka?
Naomi Osaka is 20 years old.
She was born on October 16, 1997.
Who is Naomi Osaka’s boyfriend?
According to Who’s Dated Who, Naomi Osaka is currently believed to be single.
What is Naomi Osaka’s net worth?
Over the course of her career, Osaka has amassed an impressive career earnings total of more than $3.2 million (£2.4m).
In addition, the young tennis star has also reportedly padded her professional tennis earnings with endorsement deals with brands like food company Nissin and broadcasting firm WOWOW.
Naomi Osaka at the 2018 US Open
Osaka has enjoyed a stellar run at the 2018 US Open so far, defeating several highly-ranked opponents in her march towards the final match against the legendary Serena Williams.
She defeated Laura Siegemund and Julia Glushko before beating Aliaksandra Sasnovich in dominant fashion. Osaka later defeated Aryna Sabalenka before beating Lesia Tsurenko in the quarterfinals, allowing her to reach her first major semifinal match against fellow rising star Madison Keys.
Osaka ultimately defeated Keys handily, allowing her to become the first Japanese woman in history to reach a Grand Slam final where she’ll face off against Serena Williams on Saturday, September 8 at 4pm EST. and defeated her hero, Serena Williams.