Naomi Osaka vs. Karolina Pliskova | Full Match | 2020 Brisbane Semifinal
Naomi Osaka has won five WTA titles, including two Grand Slam: the US Open 2018 and the Australian Open 2019. Following this last victory, on January 28, 2019 she reached the first place of the WTA ranking for the first time.
She was the first Japanese athlete ever to win a Slam title, the third in the Open Era to qualify for the WTA Finals in 2018 and the first Asian ever to reach the top of the WTA ranking. Starting her season at Brisbane, Osaka defeated Maria Sakkari, Sofia Kenin, and Kiki Bertens, before falling to Karolína Plíšková, despite having a match point in the second set.
At the Australian Open, Osaka defeated Marie Bouzková and Zheng Saisai, before being defeated by Coco Gauff in the third round. The former World number 1 wrote a letter to her future self for Nike. “I hope in the future, I sill retain my core values.
Bruno Soares calls for patience in the difficult times of Coronavirus No matter what types of trials and tribulations I face, I still remain positive. I hope I can somehow inspire people, I don’t know in what context though yet,” Osaka wrote. “Funny enough when I first started writing this I thought my brain was immediately going to write about future tennis goals, but I realize it’s much bigger than that.
I used to be extremely scared of the future because not knowing is also scary. But I realize you have to embrace the unknown and you can only control what’s happening now. So the me right now is constantly putting in full thought and effort into all the things I love. I hope the future me is doing the same."
Japanese star Naomi Osaka is certainly not too thrilled with the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics. After the Coronavirus wreaked havoc in Japan, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided to postpone the Olympics to 2021.
Earlier, Osaka had expressed her disappointment when the same was still under speculation. The Japanese star wrote “Don’t you dare” On Twitter, telling the IOC that postponing the Olympics would be terrible. Osaka has since deleted the aforementioned tweet.
Many people pointed out that the health of the athletes is paramount. No matter how big the Olympics are, they have to be stalled to ensure the safety of everyone concerned.
What was at stake for Naomi Osaka at the Olympics?
Osaka knows that the Tokyo Olympics would be really special for her as an athlete. She is the biggest Japanese tennis star to come out in a while. In fact, she achieved the world no 1 spot in the women’s rankings. Needless to say, the country had gold medal hopes from the player.
In fact, she had foregone US citizenship last year to become a citizen of Japan –
“It is a special feeling to aim for the Olympics as a representative of Japan,” she told NHK News.
“I think it will be more emotional to play for the pride of the country. I can play well on the big stage, so there are also expectations for myself at the Tokyo Olympics.”
Naomi Osaka is disappointed the Olympics won’t be held this year in her home country, but supports the difficult decision organizers had to make in postponing the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games.
The two-time Grand Slam champion will represent Japan at the Tokyo Olympics and unveiled the games’ motto, “United by Emotion,” on Feb. 17. In a message Saturday on Instagram, she wrote that she supports the “brave decision” and that it was a time for everyone around the world to rally together in true “Olympic spirit” to save lives.
“I’ve been thinking about how to articulate my thoughts on this for a couple of days now, so here goes. Everyone knows how much the Olympics means to me and how proud I will be to participate in my home country. Of course I am disappointed that it won’t happen this year, but we’ll all be ready to go stronger than ever in 2021! I support Prime Minister Abe’s brave decision and the IOC 100%.
“Sport will eventually unite us again and be there for us always, but that time is not now. This is the time for people from all countries, backgrounds and races to rally together to save as many lives as we can. To me, that is the Olympic spirit.
“To the people of Japan: stay strong, hang in there, and let’s show the world our beautiful country when the time is right in 2021. Stay safe everyone, take care of each other, be kind and we will make it through. Love, Naomi.”
Her remarks echoed the motto she unveiled in a video last month. Via NBC Olympic Talk:
“The motto emphasizes the power of sport to bring together people from diverse backgrounds of every kind and allow them to connect and celebrate in a way that reaches beyond their differences,” according to Tokyo Olympic organizers. “‘United by Emotion’ expresses the hope that the spectators, volunteers, and athletes from over 200 National Olympic Committees and the Refugee Olympic Team gathering in Tokyo this summer, as well as the billions watching on television and online across the globe, will come together and understand that there is more that unites than divides them.”
The decision to push the games back to some time in 2021 was made on Tuesday after growing resistance from athletes and national Olympic committees. Up until that point, IOC officials had been steadfast in keeping the games as scheduled for July, even while nearly everything else was put on hold. The Olympic torch had already been lit and was on its way to Tokyo, but the relay was postponed.
Osaka, a former world No. 1, was born in Japan to a Japanese mother and Haitian father and was raised in the U.S. She was a dual citizen but under Japanese law had to chose one before her 22nd birthday. The 2018 U.S. Open and 2019 Australian Open winner is one of the country’s most recognizable athletes.