Naomi Osaka poses for photographers with the US Open trophy at Top of the Rock Observation Deck at Rockefeller Center in New York on Sunday. Photo: Mary Altaffer/AP
Naomi Osaka poses for photographers with the US Open trophy at Top of the Rock Observation Deck at Rockefeller Center in New York on Sunday. Photo: Mary Altaffer/AP
Naomi Osaka of Japan kisses the trophy after beating Serena Williams in the US Open final. Photo: Li Muzi/Xinhua
Naomi Osaka of Japan kisses the trophy after beating Serena Williams in the US Open final. Photo: Li Muzi/Xinhua
Serena Williams consoles Naomi Osaka, who was in tears after winning her maiden Grand Slam title. Photo: Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY
Serena Williams consoles Naomi Osaka, who was in tears after winning her maiden Grand Slam title. Photo: Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY

What a remarkable triumph! Naomi Osaka of Japan captured the world’s attention by beating Serena Williams 6-2 6-4 in the US Open final at the weekend.

But just who is this 20-year-old?

Here are 10 facts about Osaka…

1 First ever Japanese Grand Slam singles champion

By winning the US Open, Osaka went one step further than male star Kei Nishikori, who lost the 2014 US Open final against Marin Cilic.

Kimiko Date-Krumm reached the semi-finals at the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon in the mid-1990s.

2 She has dual citizenship

Osaka was born in Osaka, Japan, to a Japanese mother (Tamaki Osaka), while her father is from Haiti (Leonard Francois). Her family moved to the US when she was three, and she has dual Japanese and American citizenship.

3 She won one previous WTA title

Osaka made her title breakthrough in March when she won the Indian Wells event, beating Russian Daria Kasatkina 6-3 6-2.

Her only previous final was in September 2016, when she went down 7-5 6-3 to Caroline Wozniacki in the Pan Pacific Open.

Her previous best performance at a Grand Slam was losing in the fourth round at this year’s Australian Open.

4 Unbeaten against Serena!

Yes, that’s right – Osaka has never lost to her ‘idol’. Apart from the US Open victory, the 20-year-old beat Williams 6-3 6-2 in Miami in March this year. Imagine having a 2-0 record against Serena Williams…

5 She has also beaten Venus Williams

Venus is also one of Osaka’s heroines, but she got the better of her in Hong Kong last year.

6 Career Prize Money

Osaka has now compiled $7 032 734 (R106.48m) in her short career, bolstered by the $3.8 million (R57.53m) winner’s cheque at the US Open.

7 Her sister is also a pro player

Mari Osaka is 22, and campaigns mainly on the ITF lower-tier circuit.

8 Her father followed in Williams’ footsteps

Leonard Francois told the New York Times that Richard Williams, father of Venus and Serena, had shown the way for him. “The blueprint was already there. I just had to follow it.”

9 Surge up the rankings

Osaka started the year at No 68. Now she’s at No 7.

10 She has her own website

You can find out more about the new US Open champion at www.naomiosaka.com

 

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