Naomi Osaka has reportedly decided that she wants to represent Japan at the Tokyo Olympics 2020. Osaka had a dual Japanese/US citizenship since birth. She turns 22 years old on October 16. According to Japanese laws, individuals born with dual citizenship must choose one by the age of 22. Osaka was born in 1997, that meant she had until next Wednesday, and she’s decided to retain Japanese citizenship.
Osaka was born in Japan to a Japanese mother and Haitian-American father. She moved to the US with her family at the age of 3 and was raised there. "It's definitely going to be very special. I think there's no other place that I'd rather play my first Olympics. I think that will be one of the most memorable things that ever happen to me. I think I will be able to put more of my emotion into it by playing for the pride of the country," she told Japanese press. Osaka added she aims to go for gold but she is worried about the expectations as they will be high.
Osaka won the China Open on Sunday and is currently the No 3 ranked women's singles player in the WTA. Osaka created history in the US Open with a win against Serena Williams at Flushing Meadows in 2018, which made her the first Japanese player to ever win a Grand Slam title. Since then, she has won a second Grand Slam title after defeating Petra Kvitova in the 2019 Australian Open, which she called one of the "happiest moments" of her life.
But after her second major tournament in Australia, she has not been able to carry her form forward. She suffered an early defeat at Roland Garros and was eliminated after a first-round loss at Wimbledon. But now she is back at No 3 in the rankings and has gotten back to winning ways. She has now won 10 consecutive matches after she won Toray Pan Pacific Open and China Open
While Osaka has not been officially announced as a member of the Japanese 2020 Olympic team yet but looking at her title claims and the way she has fared as a player her selection seems obvious. Japan would love to see Osaka bag gold at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics because her spirit and character make her an athlete to be proud of.