TOKYO (AP) — Naomi Osaka confirmed how deep her Japanese roots run: She went to observe Japan’s nationwide sport of sumo and mentioned she preferred it.
Osaka is in Tokyo this week to play within the Pan Pacific Open, only a week after she gained the U.S. Open to grow to be the primary Japanese girl to win a Grand Slam singles title.
Osaka was born in Japan to a Haitian father and Japanese mom. She has spent most of her life in the US and lives in Florida, however is bound to symbolize Japan on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
”I assumed it was actually cool as a result of they’re so versatile and so they’re additionally very robust,” Osaka mentioned Monday on the Pan Pacific Open. ”Throughout one match, he stored slapping the opposite man. So I assumed it was actually enjoyable to observe.”
Osaka is seeded third in Tokyo and had a bye within the first spherical. She is the topic of intense curiosity by Japanese reporters.
She fields questions in English however understands most questions posed to her in Japanese.
Two years in the past she misplaced within the ultimate to Caroline Wozniacki, who’s the top-seeded participant this 12 months.
”I’ve performed much more matches between then and now,” Osaka mentioned. ”And I believe it even reveals that I am just a little bit extra mature now. So, I imply after all having expertise helps.”
She additionally added that ”being extra assured in your self” additionally helps.
Osaka is instantly on monitor to grow to be one of many highest incomes feminine athletes on earth, making the most of roots in Asia, deep-pocketed Japanese corporations, and a down-to-earth method that makes her shortly likable.
Final week, Osaka signed a three-year contract with Japanese carmaker Nissan – no monetary particulars had been supplied – and he or she is reportedly near touchdown a big cope with Adidas, maybe within the vary of $10 million.
The U.S. Open title was price $three.eight million in prize cash.
Osaka additionally has offers with Japanese sporting items firm Yonex, noodle maker Nissin Meals, Citizen Watch and Japanese satellite tv for pc broadcaster Wowow.
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