Meet Mom Tamaki and Dad Leonard

There’s only one thing better than watching Naomi Osaka completely dominate the tennis court that even the tiniest smidgen feels: watching the love she gets from her parents after every match. The four-time Grand Slam tennis champion has a super-close relationship with his mother, Tamaki Osaka, and his father, Leonard Francois. The two raised Naomi and her older sister, Mari, in Japan, before moving to the United States when Naomi was three years old, and they could not do Be more supportive of your daughter and her wildly impressive career. Get to know Naomi Osaka’s parents below.

Tamaki and Leonard met in college

Tamaki, who is from Japan, met Leonard, who is from Haiti, when he was visiting Hokkaido as a college student. The couple kept their relationship a secret from Tamaki’s parents for years, and then when she was 20, her father wanted to arrange a wedding for her. In form of new York Times Reported in 2018, “The truth then came to the fore: Tamaki was already seeing someone – a foreigner who also happened to be black. Her father erupted in anger, inciting her to defame the family.” The couple Osaka Gone – where Naomi was born.

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He moved his family to Long Island

The family relocated from Japan to Long Island when Naomi was three years old to live with Leonard’s parents. “My dad is Haitian, so I grew up in New York in a Haitian family. I lived with my grandmother,” Naomi said at a 2018 press conference. grew up, and if you’re saying American, I guess because I lived in America, I have that too.”

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Naomi credits her mother for inspiring and encouraging her to create her own street and embrace her upbringing. Here’s what the Olympian said in a May 2021 interview:

“Growing up, I saw my mom work incredibly hard to support me and my passion for playing. He always put others first and encouraged me to embrace my diversity. Each of my role models has inspired me to dream big. To elevate by all means. And while I’m still working on how to be the best role model I can be, I want to show them that I stick to my beliefs and love who I am. Then maybe one day it will help them to believe that it’s okay to separate and carve their own lane – as long as they stay true to themselves. ,

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Naomi’s father was inspired by the Williams Sisters

Leonard decided to teach his daughters tennis after seeing Venus and Serena Williams. He also took a leaf out of his father Richard Williams’ book, in which he said new York Times“The blueprint was already in place. I just had to follow it.”

Both of Naomi’s parents were so dedicated to her career that they moved to Florida so that she could get better training opportunities.

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his dad briefly coached him

It didn’t last long, and Naomi jokingly said at the time, “Yeah, he’s very upset. Daddy. Do you hear his on-court coaching? I can’t believe it. He would run to the bench.” and says, ‘Keep calm.’ That’s it. He doesn’t tell me a trick. I can’t believe it. I was so mad.”

But she also tweeted, “All jokes aside, I love my father dearly and am grateful for everything I’ve learned from him on and off the court. I would have felt extremely lucky to be his child.” I am because he leaves only knowledge.

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Naomi’s parents helped her decide to represent Japan

“We decided that Naomi would represent Japan at a young age,” Tamaki said. “She was born in Osaka and grew up in a home of Japanese and Haitian culture. Quite simply, Naomi and her sister, Mari, have always felt Japanese, so that was our only argument. It was ever financially motivated. The decision was not and neither were we influenced in any way by any national federation.”

Osaka, Japan September 21 Naomi Osakas Korch and father Leonard Francois speak during day six of the Torrey Pan Pacific Open on September 21, 2019 in Osaka, Japan Japan Photo by Koji Watanabegeti Images

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In October 2019, Naomi actually gave up her US citizenship to play for Japan at the 2021 Summer Olympics. Although she lost in the third round, and was later taking her second long break from the sport for personal and mental health reasons, her loving parents stayed with her, cheering her on the edge. We really couldn’t be more obsessed with this family!

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