Naomi Osaka has confirmed she will compete for Japan in the 2020 Summer Olympics, which will coincidentally be held in Tokyo. The 21-year-old tennis player was born in Japan, but she was raised in the United States. As a dual citizen, Naomi is required under Japan’s Nationality Law to choose one before she turns 22. That means Naomi will be relinquishing her US citizenship to represent her birthplace in the sporting event.
“It’s definitely going to be very special. I think there’s no other place that I’d rather play my first Olympics of course,” Naomi told NHK World-Japan in an interview on Oct. 10. She added, “I think that it will be one of the most memorable things that will ever happen to me.”
After a stellar year, this will mark Naomi’s first time competing in the Olympics. She drew national attention when she defeated Serena Williams to win the 2018 US Open, subsequently making her the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam singles tournament. Naomi later showed off her exemplary sportsmanship when she delivered a speech praising her opponent Coco Gauff at the 2019 US Open. We look forward to watching her shine both on and off the court at the Games starting July 22.