Osaka’s World Champion

DISCOVER: Osaka’s World Champion

Born in Osaka and representing Japan, Naomi Osaka became the #1 female tennis player in the world by winning her Australian Open final this year. At just 21 years old, Osaka is the first singles player from Asia to top the tennis rankings on either the men’s or women’s tour, moving up to the top of the rankings after beating Petra Kvitova in her final match.

Though born in Osaka and raised in the United States, Naomi’s top spot victory brought a wave of celebration to Nemuro, Hokkaido – the city in Northern Japan where her mother was raised. As well as a tennis racket gifted to her grandfather, Nemuro now also proudly displays celebratory banners across the walls of its city hall.

And, despite now being the biggest name in women’s tennis, it’s fair to say that Osaka is proud of her roots, using her post-match interviews to talk about her love for katsudon, the Japanese dish of deep-fried pork and rice.

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