How a trip to Haiti had a profound effect on the world No. 1 tennis player Naomi Osaka


July 31, 2019

World No. 1 tennis player Naomi Osaka, a Boca Raton resident of Japanese-Haitian heritage, was given a hero’s welcome during a November 2018 visit to Haiti.NAOMI OSAKA INSTAGRAM

Naomi Osaka welcome HAITI.jpg (96 KB)

When a courtside reporter at the Australian Open last year asked Naomi Osaka how proud she felt representing her American and Japanese cultures, Osaka quickly and politely set the record straight: “Of course, I’m very honored to be playing for Japan. But my Dad’s side is Haitian, so represent.”

She then held up a peace sign, and smiled, a gesture that was felt all the way in her father’s hometown of Jacmel, Haiti, where she spent five unforgettable, life-changing days in November.

Osaka, the world’s top-ranked tennis player, was born in Japan, has a Japanese mother and surname and is a superstar in Japan, where she has lucrative endorsement deals with Nissin noodles, Nissan Motor, Yonex racket company, Citizen watches and Shiseido cosmetics. More than 50 Japanese reporters covered her win at the Australian Open in January, and many of them will be at Hard Rock Stadium over the next two weeks chronicling Osaka’s every move at the Miami Open.Continue Reading

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