Now, the world number four stands to ride the wave of her achievements all the way to the cover of the famous magazine. The feature tracks her tennis roots and interesting past, as well as providing insight from her Haitian father Leonard and her sister Mari.
"Once she puts her focus on something, she never strays from it," Mari told writer Sean Gregory.
Four months after winning her first Grand Slam title at the US Open in September, Naomi Osaka is now contending with what it means to be the player who renders others starstruck.
Osaka is now ranked No. 4 in the world and her game intimidates players like Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia, whom she beat 6-2, 6-4 on Thursday afternoon at Margaret Court Arena. When presented with the information during a postmatch news conference, Osaka, 21, looked genuinely surprised.
"I feel old," Osaka said when asked what it's like to be a person other tennis players consider a star. "Wow, that's kind of crazy. I don't know. Hey, what did she say though? When you play someone, like for me, when I play, like Venus or something, I'm starstruck, too. It's a bit weird when you tell me there's someone I'm playing that feels that way."