A Love Is Born in Osaka, Japan

Naomi Osaka was born in Japan to Tamaki Osaka and Leonard Francois. The city of Osaka to be exact. Her mother Tamaki is from Japan and her father Leonard is from Haiti. 

Naomi’s parents have an intriguing love story. Leonard met Tamaki in Japan while Tamaki was in high school and Leonard was in college. Because Tamaki knew her parents would surely disapprove, they had a secret relationship for many years. Not the least bit to the couple’s surprise, when the truth of their relationship was revealed to Tamaki’s parents, her family would not speak to her for over 10 years. When Naomi was 3, Naomi’s parents would eventually move the family to Long Island, New York to live with Francois’ family.

Leonard and Tamaki Move to New York

Inspired by Richard Williams and the Williams sisters, Naomi’s father decided to start teaching Naomi and her older sister Mari tennis at an early age. As the story goes, Leonard was inspired by watching the Williams sisters at the French Open in 1999. He didn’t know much about it at first, but eventually he would somehow become good enough a coach for both of his daughters to eventually show promise they may one day make it as professional tennis players. 

When Naomi was nine, Leonard decided to move to the family to Florida to see what opportunities Naomi and her sister could take advantage of in the tennis scene there. Things went well, but even though Naomi was raised in the United States, her parents made the shrewd decision for her to represent Japan. 

Apparently, things worked out for Naomi and her sister Mari and the rest is history. Mari recently retired from professional tennis, and Naomi is one of the top tennis players in the world.



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