Mon. Sep 28th, 2020

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US Open champion Naomi Osaka

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FACTBOX ON JAPAN’S NAOMI OSAKA, WHO BEAT VICTORIA AZARENKA OF BELARUS 1-6 6-3 6-3 TO WIN THE US OPEN TITLE ON SATURDAY.

Born: Oct. 16, 1997 in Osaka, Japan

Grand Slam titles: 3 (US Open 2018, 2020; Australian Open 2019)

EARLY LIFE
• Born to a Japanese mother and a Haitian father, Osaka grew up idolizing 23-times Grand Slam champion Serena Williams.

• Moved to New York when she was three-years-old and turned professional in 2013 aged 15.

• Played in the main draw of a WTA event for the first time at Stanford in 2014. Beat Sam Stosur in the first round before losing to Andrea Petkovic.

CAREER TO DATE
• Made her Grand Slam debut as a qualifier at the Australian Open in 2016, beating Elina Svitolina in the second round before losing to former champion Azarenka.

• Cracked the top 100 in the world for the first time in April 2016 and the top 50 later in the year.

• Named 2016 WTA “Newcomer of the Year” after making third-round appearances at three Grand Slams and reaching her first WTA final.

• Won her first WTA title in March 2018 in Indian Wells, beating Maria Sharapova, Karolina Pliskova and Simona Halep along the way.

• Beat Serena Williams in the 2018 US Open final to claim her maiden Grand Slam title and finished the year ranked fifth in the world.

• Beat Petra Kvitova in the 2019 Australian Open final to become the first player since Jennifer Capriati in 2001 to win the next Grand Slam after her maiden major.

• Beat Azarenka to win her second US Open title. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were no fans in attendance at the hardcourt major in 2020. She turned up for each of her seven matches at Flushing Meadows wearing a face mask carrying the name of a Black American to highlight racial injustice in the United States. — Reuters



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