World No.1 Naomi Osaka was the only tennis player to make TIME Magazine's list of the Top 100 Most Influential People, and earned high praise from WTA Legend Chris Evert.
WTA Staff
April 18, 2019

World No.1 Naomi Osaka was the only tennis player to make TIME Magazine's list of the Top 100 Most Influential People, and earned high praise from WTA legend Chris Evert. 

The 21-year-old was included in the annual who's who of the most influential people in the world assembled by the American magazine, released on Wednesday, with the forward to her entry written by the 18-time Grand Slam champion Evert.

"Rookie Grand Slam tournament champs often fall short at their next major. All Naomi Osaka did was conquer the world again," Evert wrote.

"If she had wilted, no one would have blinked...She had her U.S. Open moment to fall back on. But no—Osaka controlled her mind and let her superior power do the work. She won another Slam."

The WTA legend also praised Osaka's ability to transcend not her sport, but the current state of society.

"No one represents our more globalized, multicultural future better than this honest, polite, self-deprecating tennis life force, a potential champion for years to come."
Chris Evert on Naomi Osaka

Prior to the Australian Open this January, Osaka was profiled in a cover story by the magazine, where she discussed her rise to international stardom after winning the US Open last summer.

Read more: 'Once she puts her focus on something, she never strays': Osaka graces cover of TIME

"You really never know what people can do," she said. "And how people can change. I don’t think there is ever going to be another Serena Williams. I think I’m going to be me. And I hope people are okay with that."


Other athletes on the list include Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah, one of six cover stars, the NBA's LeBron James, U.S. soccer's Alex Morgan, middle distance runner Caster Semenya, golfer Tiger Woods, and pro gamer "Ninja," or Richard Tyler Blevins.

Osaka, Morgan and Semenya are among a record 48 women to appear on this year's list.