"Greatest female role model" - Naomi Osaka honors her mother's sacrifices after daughter Shai's birth; also hails Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova

Naomi Osaka has called her mother Tamaki her greatest female role model while also expressing her love for Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova
Naomi Osaka has called her mother Tamaki her greatest female role model while also expressing her love for Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova

Naomi Osaka has said that her mother Tamaki is her greatest female role model, while also expressing her admiration for Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, and Li Na.

The Japanese is currently with her national team at the Billie Jean King Cup where they will compete in the qualifiers. Speaking to the tournament, Osaka spoke about her greatest female role model.

The 26-year-old said that despite looking up to Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Li Na, her mother Tamaki remains her greatest female role model. The four-time Grand Slam winner also spoke about how her own motherhood made her realize the sacrifices her mother made.

"My greatest female role model has been my mom just because I've watched her a lot growing up and I've probably emulated her a couple of times. But I think just having a daughter now and I guess realizing all the sacrifices she had to make," Naomi Osaka said.
"Yeah, I mean, I love Serena, Sharapova, Li Na... Then I can name a lot but, I think it's really cool because growing up, obviously, you have to have role models to believe that you can do something," she added.

Naomi Osaka's Haitian father Leonard Francois and mother Francois started dating after the former visited Japan as a college student. They later shifted to Osaka, where their children Naomi and Mari were born.

Naomi Osaka to represent Japan at the Billie Jean King Cup qualifiers

Naomi Osaka in action at the 2024 Miami Open
Naomi Osaka in action at the 2024 Miami Open

Naomi Osaka has been named in the Japan team for their Billie Jean King Cup qualifier against Kazakhstan in Tokyo on Friday, April 12. This is the former World No. 1's first appearance in the team tournament after a four-year absence.

The former World No. 1 is eyeing a place at the Paris Olympics later this year. However, an International Tennis Federation (ITF) spokesperson said that Osaka will need to go through the appeals process if she is to feature in Paris.

This is due to the fact that Osaka last participated in the Billie Jean King Cup in February 2020, which means that she has not fulfilled the obligation of featuring in two ties within one Olympic cycle. Osaka's sole appearance at the Olympics came in 2020 in Tokyo. The Japanese was ousted in the third round by eventual finalist Marketa Vondrousova.

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Edited by Neelabhra Roy
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