Getting To Know... Naomi Osaka
Published July 30, 2014 12:13
STANFORD, CA, USA - On Monday afternoon, 16-year-old Naomi Osaka tamed former US Open champion Samantha Stosur in the first round of the Bank of the West Classic. A few hours later she delivered a performance every bit as impressive to win over the assembled press corps.
Next up is Andrea Petkovic, but before that Osaka spent a few minutes charming wtatennis.com with tales of sibling rivalry and lofty career goals.
How did you start playing tennis?
NO: I'm not really sure how I got into tennis, because it's more like my dad wanted me to play tennis. And so I just went along for the ride until a certain age and then I was like, 'I'm good at this. I should keep going.'
Can you tell us a little bit about your family?
NO: My dad's from Haiti and my mom's Japanese. My mom's name is Tamaki. My sister's name is Mari and she's one and a half years older and also a tennis player.
Is there a rivalry between you?
NO: It's not a rivalry, because I'm obviously better! But she can try. I feel like she thinks she can get better, but I'm obviously going to win all the time, which is sad. But she keeps trying!
Who's your coach at the moment?
NO: We went to the Harold Solomon Academy by chance, and they liked how I played so they invited us back and we kind of kept going from there. Before that it was mainly my dad coaching me.
How would you describe your playing style?
NO: I used to say counterpuncher, but now I'm kind of like an aggressive baseliner.
Do you have a favorite shot?
Who was your tennis idol growing up?
Best tennis memory so far?
NO: Probably beating Stosur, because I feel that just opened these new doors and I kind of enjoy the attention since that win!
What are your short and long-term goals?
NO: For this year, probably to get into the Top 100. That's something I really want to do. And in the long-term, eventually I want to climb up the rankings. I want to play all the Grand Slams and get as far as I can. I know it sounds crazy, but I hope I can get to the finals.
Do you have a favorite city?
What do you like to do for fun?
NO: Honestly, I'm not really sure if it's fun or I'm just wasting my time, but I like using the computer and playing games on my iPad.
Do you have a favorite book or movie?
NO: Open, by Andre Agassi. I'm not so sure about movies. There are lots of movies I watch twice and then I have to take a break. Maybe Kill Bill?
What music are you listening to at the moment?
If you weren't playing tennis, what would you be doing?
NO: That's a hard question. Maybe I'd become a sports agent or something.