A couple of weeks ago, defending champion Angelique Kerber was knocked out in round one of the US Open by Haitian-Japanese teenager Naomi Osaka. The victory marked Osaka’s first top 10 wins of her career.
Naomi who has long been picked to be the ‘next Serena Williams’ has a little more in common with her idol and her professional tennis player sister Venus. Naomi’s older sister Mari Osaka also plays professionally.
Mari Osaka, 21, was born in Osaka, Japan to a Haitian father, Leonard Francois, and a Japanese mother. Her father was born in Haiti and went to college at NYU before moving to Japan, where he met and married her mother. Her family moved to the United States when she was young, and she grew up there. Osaka speaks both English and Japanese and grew up in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Osaka has a WTA singles career high ranking of 471, achieved on 11 September 2015. Her career high doubles ranking of 1214 was achieved on 27 July 2015.
Osaka made her Women Tennis Association tour debut at the 2014 Bank of the West Classic, in the doubles event partnering Marina Shamayko, losing in the first round to Varvara Lepchenko and Ajla Tomljanović.
Like tennis superstar sisters Serena and Venus Williams, the Haitian-Japanese sisters are very close and sometimes compete together. On September 20th, Naomi Osaka and Mari Osaka of Japan competed against Makoto Ninomiya of Japan and Renata Voracova of Czech Republic during women’s doubles matchday three of the Toray Pan Pacific Open Tennis At Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo, Japan.
Here they are in action.