Friday, 01 September 2017 11:21

Naomi Osaka - The Haitian-Japanese Rising Tennis Star

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If you were expecting Victoria Duval to be the torch bearer for Haiti at the US Open you may get a bit disappointed since our beloved Vicky did not make the cut. Instead, it is the rising star Naomi Osaka who registers the name Haiti in the sport sections covering the prestigious tournament.

Naomi was born in Osaka, Japan to a Haitian father, Leonard François, and a Japanese mother on 16 October 1997. She also has an older sister, Mari, who plays tennis professionally. Understandably, both sisters represent their homeland Japan in international competitions. Like the better known Haitian-Japanese soccer player Zachary Herivaux, Naomi and her sister grew up in USA. They live near heavy Haitian-American communities in Florida and New York. It is reported that the family moved to the USA to be closer to their paternal relatives.

Recently, Naomi has made some noise among the elite of the tennis world. The 19-year-old Asian star, who ousted defending champion Angelique Kerber in her opener, outlasted 90th-ranked Czech Denisa Allertova 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 to reach the last 32 on the New York hardcourts.

Naomi, the 2016 WTA Newcomer of the Year, can reach her first fourth round at a Grand Slam by beating 418th-ranked Estonian qualifier Kaia Kanepi on Saturday.

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