Monday, 21 October, 2019

Osaka picks Japanese citizenship

Osaka giving up U.S. citizenship to play for Japan in 2020 Olympics media Tennis- Pan Pacific Open Women's Singles Quarter-final matchMore
Shannon Reynolds | 12 October, 2019, 16:52

Osaka, who has a Eastern mother and a Haitian father, suggested NHK she has performed an administrative step to bag Eastern citizenship sooner than her birthday next week.

According to the Olympic Channel, Osaka will be eligible for Japan's Olympic team if she plays for Japan in one more International Tennis Federation national team competition. Since Osaka's 22nd birthday is on October 16, she has to make a choice - and she's choosing Japan. She now has dual citizenship with the United States and Japan, but Japanese law requires that she choose one or the other by her 22nd birthday.

Two weeks ago, a Japanese comedy duo teased Osaka, saying she was "too sunburned" and "needed some bleach".

Osaka told Japanese media that playing for Japan in Tokyo during the Olympics is something special for her, according to Reuters.

Osaka rose to prominence previous year after she managed to beat US tennis legend Serena Williams in the final of the 2018 US Open.

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Osaka is now in fine form, winning the Toray Pan Pacific event in September and the China Open this month.

Since then, she notched 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.

Osaka notched a historic U.S. Open win against Serena Williams at Flushing Meadows in 2018, which made her the first Japanese player to ever win a Grand Slam title.

Tennis at the 2020 Summer Olympics will begin July 24, 2020.

She also said she does better in very high-stakes moments, so she has high expectations for herself in the Tokyo Olympics.

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